Honestly I have never won a triathlon.
But I've never failed to finish one.
I get my job satisfaction watching the athletes I coach exceed their expectations and finish with pride.
My real heroes in racing aren't the 4% whippets that win Kona, but people like Sister Madonna Buder (aka The Iron Nun) and James Lawrence (aka The Iron Cowboy). Check them out (although triathlon professionals are pretty cool and amazing too, it has to be said).
I first visited Dartmouth over 25 years ago.
The very first morning I ran along the coast path beyond the Castle to a small shingle beach at high tide, where a young seal popped its head up to check me out, totally fearless.
I began falling in love with these seas.
The next morning I rode to Start Point and was awestruck by its incredible panoramas.
I completely fell in love with that windswept, rugged, utterly majestic headland.
The crazy idea to run a iron distance triathlon on this coastline was born on that weekend a quarter century ago.
It took a global pandemic to make the dream happen.
From the pilot event in 2020 were born SeaLion Triahtlons and the Royal Marines Iron Challenge.
The open event launches September 19th 2021 for 250 triathletes from round the world.
The South Hams and Start Bay are an area of outstanding natural beauty.
I've ridden the very same 28-mile loop you'll be doing on race day countless times.
I have swum countless kilometres round Blackpool Sands Bay.
I know every inch of the iron marathon intimately.
For the past 25 years I've been dreaming of setting up this triathlon.
When a lifelong dream materialises for you it is truly life-affirming.
I want to share with you that feeling of accomplishment.
If you have always dreamed of finishing an iron distance race please drop us a line so we can chat about helping you make that dream come true.
We won't be able to do your training sessions for you.
That takes passion and commitment, perseverance and determination from you alone.
But I promise my team and I will put our years of experience and skills and knowledge at your disposal to give you the very best chance of getting through The Royal Marines Iron Challenge before the midninght cut-off.
The Pain is temporary. The Pride is forever,
Co-director SeaLion Triathlons
In 2013, at the age of 49, I was sitting on the beach at Blackpool Sands with a good friend, an accomplished Team GB triathlete and multiple Ironman finisher.
We talked about Ironman racing and as I gazed out to sea I struggled to grasp how could normal human beings manage to swim 2.4 miles, race 112 miles on a bike and then run a marathon?
Despite the unknown, I made the decision there and then to take on the challenge.
On 14th October 2013 I began training under the watchful eye and support of former UK and Royal Navy Champion Chris Ray (Royal Marine). Together we went on a journey over 6 months enduring 600 miles of road running, 3000 miles on the bike and 60 miles in the pool and which equipped me to feel I had earned my slot at the May 2014 Lanzarote Ironman.
The rest is history but includes 3 Ironman races, 2 Extreme Iron Tri races and handfuls of Marathons, half marathons and adventurous sea swims. I am looking forward to sharing my experience with you as a person who has been to the coal face and come back dying to tell everyone about it.
If I can train for my first IronMan at age 49 then so can you! Age is just a number.
Having lived on the edge of Blackpool Sands since 1978 I know every inch of this epic course in detail, and can’t wait to share it with you.