Triathlon: Doncaster Ironman set for World Championships

Dean Kirkham

Dean Kirkham

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An Ironman from Doncaster is heading for Hawaii after he qualified for the 2016 World Championships.

Dean Kirkham, of Scawsby, came in fourth place in the Wales Ironman last month out of a field of over 2,000 athletes.

The Ironman triathlon event is a gruelling test which combines a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile marathon consecutively.

And Kirkham says the course in Wales - which was used to determine who qualified for the annual global challenge in Hawaii - is a particularly difficult course to navigate.

“This race two years ago broke me and made me,” he said.

“I learned a lot that day about myself and what is required when you want to achieve something so much.

“The course has it all, killer hills, fast descents, awesome scenery and massive crowds and support.

“But it’s brutal and tough. You’ve got to pace it right otherwise you’ll never make it to the run.”

Having successfully navigated the swim and the cycle, Kirkham found himself approaching the finishing line inside ten hours and 26 minutes.

And the 42-year-old was able to end the race in style as he realised he was going to Hawaii for the second time.

“With about half a mile to go through the streets I finally broke a smile. This was one Ironman I’d remember for a very long time.

“With the finish line in sight a wave of emotion lifted my pace, there was no one in front or behind, I could soak up the cheers from the crowds and high five my wife, Deb.

“As I crossed the finish line I heard the commentator announce I was fourth and off to Kona.

“I’ve got to admit I was emotional at the end, I’d left everything out there on the course.”

Ironman events have a strict cut off time for completion of 17 hours. The world record for the full triathlon is currently held by Belgian Marino Vanhoenacker, who broke the world record at the Ironman Klagenfurt in Austria on July 3, 2011, finishing after 7 hours, 45 minutes and 58 seconds.

The current record for the Hawaii course is 8 hours 3 minutes 56 seconds, set by Australian Craig Alexander.

Next year’s World Championship race takes place in Kona, Hawaii, on October 8.

Dean is looking for sponsorship ahead of the trip. Anyone interested in sponsoring him should email realfitness@live.co.uk.