The Wasdale Tri, according to their website, is the hardest half ironman in the world and I just signed up for it!
I’m hoping this first post can act as an introduction to the whole purpose of this blog which is to try the keep a track of all my preparations and thoughts regarding the build up to me doing the Wasdale half ironman triathlon and also to try and raise awareness and funds for the Welcome Centre in Huddersfield who do some amazing work for the local community.
I suppose the first thing I should explain is why I’m wanting to do it… well I’m afraid that it’s not for some massive life affirming reason or because I feel driven by a need to conquer a fear or disability or anything like that it’s mostly because I’m not sure I can do it and it’s that uncertainty which presents the challenge that I want to put myself up against.
I should say right from the start that I don’t think of myself as an athlete, I keep fit and I take pride in that but I don’t compete in any sports and I have never trained to the level to do so, overall I’m probably a bit fitter than the average 34 year ok UK male but not by too much. However over the last couple of years I have had a go at a few endurance style events, things like mud runs (the Yorkshire Terrier and Tough Mudder events) and half marathons (the Huddersfield Hilly Half marathon) and then last year I wondered how far I could push myself so did a full distance marathon along the Northumbrian coast in March though a company call Endurance Life. Later in the year I rode the Liverpool to Leeds canal with some friends for charity which covered 130 miles in a day. After that even though both events were really hard on my body I wondered what more I could do so I thought maybe I’ll try a triathlon, because that’s a normal thought process right?
So with the idea of a triathlon in my head I started looking around the net to find one I fancied and seemed suitable, it was during this process that I noticed on facebook that an old school friend was training for a half Iron Man that was happening down south so without a lot more thought I settled on having a go at one of them as it seemed to offer the right balance of really pushing me while also being realistically achievable and also if I finished it I could have the fun of saying “I AM IRON MAN” in an Ozzy Osbourne/Tony Stark manner whenever I wanted which has got to be worth hours of pain and exhaustion right? However as I am guilty of a bit of one-up-manship I wondered if I could do just a little bit more than my friend and also not have to venture into the depths of the south and so with a prompt from my wife I signed up for the wasdale tri as that looked like the one for me!
Ok so now you have a bit of a background on the why, the next bit is the what for.
Having paid my entrance fee for the triathlon I decided that I really wanted to make it count for something. In the past I had run the Tough Mudder course for their charity, help for heroes, and we did the bike ride for Combat Stress both very worthy causes that I was happy to raise money for but this time as I would be doing the event off my own back and could choose the cause to support I decided I wanted to help an organisation a little closer to where I live and a little closer to my increasingly socialist leanings. So with food banks very much in the news and with me having just written a letter to my MP and signed a petition to have the question about the rising need for them asked in parliament I thought that this was something I could really get behind and which would give a real benefit to people who just need a bit more help than they seem to be getting elsewhere.
So that’s the background of what I’m doing and why and I hope that the rest of this blog will be filled with my training progress and comments and thoughts around food banks in general and the Welcome Centre specifically as well as the policies that mean they are needed.