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Simon Oldham

Simon Oldham - Ironman World Championships!

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]1,999 of the world's fittest triathletes...... and me.[lt]br /[gt] [lt]br /[gt] Long and the short of it is that I have a place at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii in one month's time, widely accepted as one of, if not the World's hardest one day event.[lt]br /[gt] [lt]br /[gt] Its a 3,800m swim in the Bay of Kailua-Kona on the big Island of Kona, followed by a 180km bike ride and to finish off, a full 26 mile marathon.[lt]br /[gt] [lt]br /[gt] With no helping hand from a buoyant wetsuit, that is the equivalent of a 152 length swim in strong currents and choppy waters, the bike ride is through the lava fields of the island where the winds reach 40-50km per hour and the temperatures are in excess of 35 degrees Celsius or 95 degrees in old money.  You then have to take on a full marathon, in the same stifling heat and humidity, 26 miles or 42km.[lt]br /[gt] [lt]br /[gt] During the race, I will consume about 24 pints of water, cola and electrolytes and take on in excess of 12,000 calories (average daily consumption is 2,500) or about 14 roast lunches.  I will still lose around 4kgs during the race.[lt]br /[gt] [lt]br /[gt] If you want to see what this race does to some of the elites then watch this.  Its the most memorable 3 minutes you will spend today. [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTn1v5TGK_w]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTn1v5TGK_w[/url][lt]br /[gt] [lt]br /[gt][b][i]"The inaugural "Hawaiian IRON MAN Triathlon" was conceptualized in 1977 as a way to challenge athletes who had seen success at endurance swim, running and biathlon events. Honolulu-based Navy couple Judy and John Collins proposed combining the three toughest endurance races in Hawai’i—the 2.4-mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim, 112 miles of the Around-O’ahu Bike Race and the 26.2-mile Honolulu Marathon—into one event." [/i][/b]Personally I think they were working on behalf of Lycra to invent a sport that made wearing their goods socially acceptable.[/p] [p][b][i]"On February 18, 1978, 15 people came to Waikiki to take on the IRONMAN challenge. [/i][/b][/p] [p][b][i]In 1981, the race moved from the tranquil shores of Waikiki to the barren lava fields of Kona on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Along the Kona Coast, black lava rock dominates the panorama, and athletes battle the "ho’omumuku" crosswinds of 45 mph, 95 degree temperatures and a scorching sun." - From Ironman website.[/i][/b][/p][p] When I first heard about Ironman races I was in my early teens and when my father and I heard about the feats of these select few athletes, it seemed almost fantastical that anyone could finish such a race in the searing heat of Hawaii.  It always seemed like complete madness to even try something that long and that difficult.  Ever since then I had always dreamed of completing the Hawaiian Ironman.  [lt]br /[gt] [lt]br /[gt] So in the throws of my mid-life crisis in 2012 an event changed my life.  A bunch of 6 year old kids gathered around me like sharks around a life raft and started calling me fatty, laughing and poking my belly; bless them one and all.  An hour later I admitted that the scales that I had accused of "obviously being wrong" and that the belts and trousers had not actually shrunk in the wash.[lt]br /[gt] [lt]br /[gt] I took the decision to do everything I could to get back into shape.  So with that I entered Ironman UK in Bolton giving myself only 3 months to reach peak condition. As the race was totally full up I took up a charity place offered by Scope, a charity that helps disabled people and their families.  I raised some money for them but the race was a nightmare I had to drag myself round the 2nd half of the marathon whilst being booed, along with all the other triathletes, by 4 goths sitting on a wall drinking Stella. I eventually finished in 14 hours.  It was then I that I thought that if I was going to do this again, I would have to do it properly.  To qualify for the Kona World Championships I would have to shave a mere 4 hours off my time.  OK, so not this year then![lt]br /[gt] [lt]br /[gt] I then entered Ironman Austria 2014 and I told Deborah I would never, ever do another Ironman event because it was just silly and very tiring and I was now over my mid-life crisis.  There was always a caveat however!  I took 2 hours off my time but was still 2 hours off qualifying as of right.[lt]br /[gt] [lt]br /[gt] That caveat was that if I was offered a place at the World Championships I would pull on my tight lycra shorts and t-shirts one last time.  Usually one has to qualify with superhuman times that unless I gave up work and became a professional athlete was going to be very unlikely.  OK, so the dream from when I was a kid stopped.[lt]br /[gt] [lt]br /[gt] The dream, however, became a reality again when Scope, were offered a place last minute by the kind people at Ironman who give away a few places each year for their charity partners.  Sarah from Scope asked me if I was fit enough to do an Ironman with only 2 months training.  Of course I am![lt]br /[gt] [lt]br /[gt] Why would I put myself through this? What am I trying to prove?  What is the point of swimming, cycling and running in huge circles to end up back in the same place?  No idea but I am sure there is a reason!  Because I have been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity?  Well, yes in part but it also gives me a chance to give something back to people who are struggling every day and for whom, even walking to the shops or down the corridor unaided is their personal dream.  It helps all the families that find life a real struggle as they cope to hold down jobs and pay bills with cuts to their benefits in this time of austerity as they look after their disabled children, wife, husband or loved one.[lt]br /[gt] [lt]br /[gt] I know that there are a lot of worthwhile charities and that there are a lot of people that undertake runs, cycles etc to raise money but please be assured that I will never, ever ask anyone again and should you ever need sponsorship ever again you know that I should be the first door to knock on.[lt]br /[gt] [lt]br /[gt] So please give generously, not to the lycra wearing mid-life crisis man but to all those who would love to lead a life that did not depend so heavily on others.[/p]

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Event

Personal Challenge Date

10 Oct 2015

Charity

Supporters

Mar 24, 2016

Anonymous

£1.00 plus £0.25 Gift Aid

Mar 24, 2016

Anonymous

Nice.

£3064.00 plus £766.00 Gift Aid

Mar 24, 2016

Anonymous

Almost there Pepe.

£10000.00 plus £2500.00 Gift Aid

Mar 21, 2016

Anonymous

Running for those that cannot. Nice work fella - J & J

£1500.00 plus £375.00 Gift Aid

Feb 22, 2016

Anonymous

Well done chap!

£1800.00 plus £450.00 Gift Aid

Feb 17, 2016

Anonymous

Well done chap.

£3000.00 plus £750.00 Gift Aid

Dec 7, 2015

Andre et Marie Louise

Amazing to be able to support Scope.

£1500.00 plus £375.00 Gift Aid

Dec 6, 2015

Ems

A long, long day.

£971.60 plus £0.00 Gift Aid

Dec 1, 2015

The IRONMAN FOundation

Congrats on an amazing accomplishment!

Nov 19, 2015

Anonymous

Kal, Jill, Alexa

£1500.00 plus £375.00 Gift Aid