AN ELLESMERE man is gearing up for the race of his life which will see him swim, bike and run more than 140 miles for charity in July.
Former Advertizer reporter David Ardill (pictured) is taking on the Ironman UK in Bolton on July 20 to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
He will be swimming 2.4 miles in the Pennington Flash, cycling 112 miles through the Lancashire countryside and then running 26.2 miles to the finish in the town centre in a bid to raise £1,100 for the cancer charity.
David, who works for British Cycling at the Manchester velodrome, has competed in five triathlons and a marathon but the Ironman UK will be his biggest challenge yet.
He said: “I have always dabbled in track events and being from Ellesmere has also helped. It has a history of sporting events and I have always been involved in triathlons, but I wanted to do something to really challenge myself.”
His inspiration to enter the event was former Advertizer colleague and friend, David Lawson, as both had discussed competing in the Marathon de Sables (MDS) in Morocco.
“I thought this was something I could do as my tribute to what we said,” he added.
His younger brother Rowan has also competed in the Ironman UK and has been providing training support and advice since he began training in November.
David now swims at 6am before work, takes part in spinning sessions on a turbo trainer in his kitchen and takes on 40 miles of cycling on the roads, a distance he will increase over the next seven months as the event approaches.
He said: “All the sessions are horribly hard work but I am trying to treat the training schedule I have as gospel.
“I can’t slack off so it really keeps everything going. I’ve not had much of a break at Christmas and I went cycling for training on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve, but I am lucky to have good people around me.
“Working for British Cycling at the velodrome means I am in inspiring surroundings and it makes you feel like one of the team. I hope if I can catch anyone I can get some advice!”
Before the big competition David plans to compete in the Shropshire Triathlon in his home town, but added that the two long-distance events will be very different.
“It is a different kettle of fish really, the triathlon will take around two and a half hours to complete whereas for the Ironman we will be looking at around 13 hours,” he said.
“It is all about taking on a big challenge and I just feel compelled to take it on. The MDS in Morocco will always be my lifetime goal. There is always going to be something harder than what you are doing now.”
l For more information and to sponsor David Ardill visit www.justgiving.com/David-Ardill