A RUTHIN man is to embark on his second Ironman challenge in a year.
Rob Boyns, who runs Ruthin-based IT company Boyns Information Systems, has entered the gruelling Iron Man Wales challenge to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society. The event takes place in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, in September, and consists of a 2.4 mile sea swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile marathon. It is regarded as one of the toughest Ironman challenges in the world.
“I feel better prepared than last year because my body has adapted to it,” said Rob.
“I’ve had a few injuries, and training has had its ups and downs, but I’ve had great support from my staff.
“My customers have been really supportive too, they’ve contributed a lot of money to this great cause, I’m really well supported by everyone.”
Rob, aged 46, is aiming to beat his time of 13 hours, 55 minutes and 33 seconds that he achieved last year. He was inspired to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society after his father succumbed to the disease.
“My dad struggled with Alzheimer’s for a number of years. People understand how tough it is for families with loved ones suffering from it. It really is a great cause,” said Rob.
The Alzheimer’s Society provide support to sufferers and their families, as well as carrying out continued research aimed at combating the disease. Dementia affects 820,00 people in the UK, but research is desperately underfunded.
“Dementia is very common and it can have a devastating effect on families,” said Rob.
“That’s why I was keen to raise as much money as I can for the cause.”
Rob will take part in the challenge alongside friends Steve Morgan and John Vaughan, both of whom are from Ruthin but are now living in Flintshire. Last year Rob, Steve, John and another friend Tim Doswell, of Harrogate, raised almost £20,000 for Liverpool’s Alder Hey hospital by completing the challenge.
Super-fit Rob is currently training for around 17 hours a week for the event, which is regarded as Wales’ toughest race.
“At the start of the event last year we sang the national anthem on the beach,” said Rob.
“It was really inspirational and it fired me up straight away. I felt so proud.
“The challenge is difficult, of course. The cycling part of the event becomes monotonous after a while, it takes around seven hours and we’re not allowed to talk to anyone. The run is difficult too but the people who are there to support us get you through it.
“People cheer you on and high-five you as you go past. There’s thousands of them, it really spurs you on. There’s bands playing in street corners and people clap and scream.
“It’s the thought of them and the fundraising money that gets you through it. It’s all so positive.
“Getting to the finish line last year was a brilliant feeling.”
Local companies have helped in Rob’s fundraising efforts by making a one-off shirt sponsorship donation, and their logos will appear on the shirt that Rob will wear for the challenge.
“I’m so grateful to everyone who’s donated money, and I’m really looking forward to the challenge. I want to raise as much as possible but I also hope to inspire children to engage in sport ” said Rob.
Iron Man Wales will take place on September 8.
To donate visit www.justgiving.com/robert-boyns
See full story in the Free Press