#Project1406: Charlie’s Ten Ironmans and Full Distance Triathlons

 

  1. Ironman Bolton (2014)
  2. Ironman Bolton (2016)
  3. Outlaw Nottingham (2017)
  4. Outlaw Nottingham (2019)
  5. Challenge Madrid (2018)
  6. Challenge Almere (2019)

Planned:

  1. Ironman Lanzarote (2020)
  2. Outlaw Nottingham (2020)
  3. Challenge Almere (2020)
  4. Looking for a biggy! Possibly World Champs Australia

When I completed my first Ironman in 2014 in Bolton, I’ll be honest, I hadn’t given any thought to what I would do next sport wise. I’d overcome so many challenges to get to that start and finish line and it really did hurt an awful lot. That said, it was always going to be hard to knock that regime out of someone who had been brought up in a swimming disciplined background and who has a pretty decent set of physiological and endurance traits.

It seems I’ve carried on and come quite some way since back in 2014. In 2021 I am looking to complete my 10th Ironman. They have to be officially affiliated as 140.6 miles for me to ‘count them’ and of course for me to finish. Some of you will know if you complete 10 Ironman branded races then you may get an automatic slot at Kona, the Ironman World Champs. Undoubtedly the most prestigious full triathlon in the world. I’ll never say no to Kona, and I’m sure I will chase it one day, but for now I’ve chosen a different path of sustaining GB qualification. My list above of Ironmans is also my own list and one that will hopefully complete with ten sets of memories and journeys, for no full triathlon is the same. Some of those were for others and raising money for charity, some for pure performance, some just for me when I needed them the most and some just because I just can. There are probably no days in the year when I couldn’t just wake up and go 140.6 miles without hardly any preparation.

The commitment is pretty big and some of you will think its bloody enormous. I understand why some do one Ironman, get their dot and say never ever again. I started out in 2014 following an Ironman training programme ‘to the letter’ or ‘to the minute’ in fear of not even finishing. That programme has been revised and revisited 6 times over and bears little resemblance to what it started out as. I now have my own recipe, taylor made by me for me. One that ultimately is a huge volume but one that doesn’t hurt in and of itself. I understand how to get to start line at my best, taking into account my body, feet and academic workload. It’s built on a huge cycling base wherein I completed 10,000 miles in one calendar year during 2019. It involves my Wattbikes on repeat, which I adore (mostly). Yet it also has plenty of scope for 4 pretty hefty runs a week. It’s also one that works around my day job as an academic. I therefore have no reason to stop. One Ironman sounds an achievement, 10 doesn’t sound so much as 10 separate achievements but 10 journeys integral to my identity as an endurance athlete, weaving together the whole of my life, career and being.

I’m starting racing early in 2020 with Ironman Lanzarote in May which is the second hardest in the world. After that I will push on for a total of three full distance triathlons this year, and any half Ironman’s I do will just be part of race preparation. I shall call my little pursuit #Project1406 for 10 races of 140.6 miles each. When I’m there my M-Dot will be adjusted accordingly. For having the same M-Dot as everyone else just wouldn’t be cool or right.

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