Iron man John completes the Outlaw Triathlon endurance feat for CAFOD

John HepworthIt has to be said, CAFOD supporters are a constant source of inspiration. I am completely in awe of John’s achievements and his efforts to raise funds for our work. He very kindly sent us this summary of his recent tremendous activities.

The Outlaw Triathlon took place on 26th July 2015 at the National Watersports Centre, Holme Pierrepoint, Nottingham. It is an ‘iron’ distance triathlon involving a 2.4 mile swim in the rowing lake, a 112 mile cycle through the countryside of Nottinghamshire and finished with a 26.2 mile run mainly around the lake and in and out of Nottingham along riverside paths by the River Trent.

This was my second long distance triathlon having completed Ironman UK for CAFOD two years ago. As I just missed out then on finishing under 13 hours, I felt there was unfinished business and so entered the Outlaw.

Having trained for 6 months spending an average of 9 hours per week preparing for this event I entered the water at 6 am cautiously confident that a sub 13 hour time was possible. I chose to start with the slower swimmers at the back and to the side of the 1400 other competitors and struggled out of the water 1 hr 23 minutes later. A few minutes in the changing tent and I was on my bike and off – this was where I hoped to make most of the flat bike course.

The support of family and friends at these events is amazing as well as the hundreds of volunteers who freely give their time to facilitate this event. After an hour on the bike I was on target and importantly was feeding okay. The bike section is part cycling/ part eating challenge!

Then the weather took a turn for the worse with strengthening wind and rain – as a result my bike speed slowed and the roads became greasy and I felt more and more miserable! 6 hrs 30mins later I was off the bike and looking forward to putting on my rain jacket that I had foolishly left behind on the bike leg only to find the bike bags had been moved!!!

The run started slow and cold and just got slower until by mile 12, I was feeling hypothermic and getting stressed that I couldn’t see Madaline, my wife in the crowds (she forgot where the vantage point we agreed we would see each other was and she stood for 5 hours in the rain, never once seeing me pass up to 7 times- a feat worth its own medal!)

Reduced to a slow shuffle I crossed the finish line some 13hr 34 minutes later – a dishevelled mess – but at no time was I going to quit – it was for CAFOD after all  and the knowledge of the great work that would result from my achievement, that kept me going!!                                                                                                                             NEVER AGAIN–until the next time!!!

Many thanks to all who supported me in my fundraising! Together we raised £1020.00 for CAFOD!!

John Hepworth.

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