A man who battled incredibly tough conditions to finish his first ever Iron Man has managed to raise nearly £2,000 for charity.
Alex Roberts, 41 from Corwen, swam, rode and ran through what fellow competitors described as the worst weather to hit Ironman Wales in years.
Such was his determination to finish he even waited in the cold and rain for nearly an hour and a half for a mechanic after his rear wheel broke during the bike leg.
However Alex says the pain of finishing the 13 hour event was nothing compared to the leg wax he endured as part of his fundraising.
Rob Boyns, 49 from Ruthin was also competing. Rob said: “Alex did really well. It was his first one and he’s done it with pride, fair play under those conditions.
“The bike leg was 15-20 mins down on average for everyone, and it was the same on the swim and run. One of the marshalls said it had the highest rate of abandons since it started, and it was certainly the hardest I’ve done out of the five I’ve done there.”
Speaking after the event, Alex said: “I was a bit sore the next day, but I was okay. The hub went on my rear wheel 130km into the 180km ride and I lost a good chunk of time waiting for someone to fix it, but I finished in 15 hours and 54 minutes.
“The guy initially asked me if I was a retirement, but I hadn’t trained for 11 months to quit early.
“It was amazing getting over the line at the end, so nice. The weather on the bike was really poor, the wind and the rain were awful
“I had a gilet and some arm warmers on, but you can’t carry loads of stuff over that sort of distance.
Alex was raising money for South Denbighshire Community partnership and Canolfan Ni in Corwen.
“We’ve raised about £1500 so far, and with the sponsor forms, we might get up to £2,000, ” he continued.
“It’s a lot of money and I’m very very thankful to those who have sponsored me, it’s a worthy cause,
“I had my legs waxed in Corwen in the run-up, I’ve endured some pain this last month but I’d rather do that 26 mile run again that have my legs waxed.”
“For the last bit my wife was encouraging me which was really appreciated, The joy you get once you see that finishing red carpet just gives you bags of energy, and the spectators on the course, it was like one big carnival, they just keep you smiling. Even in the poor weatehr they were still there.”
Rob finished in 12 hours and 34 minutes and has managed to raise nearly £2,000 for Ty Gobaith. He also endured mechanical issues, with his gear shifter snapping on the bike, meaning he had to really heave to get up the hills in a big gear.
Rob continued: “The support was unbeliveable, what they went through in the howling wind and rain, it was nuts
“I was quicker last year, as I broke the shifter I had to walk up a hill as I couldn’t get on top of the gear, that was pretty embarrassing.
“I undertook this amazing feat not only to raise vital funds for Tŷ Gobaith, but knock a bit off my time this year compared to last year but wanted the challenge, regarded as one of the toughest in the world, to inspire you to both contribute and perhaps have a go in taking part in such events yourselves in the future. If I can do it, so can you – anything is possible as they say!”
If you’d like to donate to either Rob or Alex’s fundraising efforts visit localgiving.org/fundraising/ ironmancymru2017 or justgiving.com/ fundraising/robert-boyns1.
See full story in the Free Press