A Donside man is getting on his marks and preparing to take on one of the toughest trials of endurance known in sport.
Ian Orme, of Keig, will compete in the Ironman triathlon event in Bolton this August.
The Ironman comprises a 3.8km swim, a 112 mile cycle and a 26.2 mile run.
After playing football for many years, Ian hung up his boots in 2008, having fallen out of love with the sport. An athlete at heart he began looking for a new challenge.
He told the Piper: “I swam competitively as a kid at a reasonable standard, I’d always ran and, when my best man put a bet on with me to do the London Triathlon, I jumped at the chance - since then I have never looked back so have a lot to thank my best mate for!”
Placing low down with his first foray into the sport, Ian was determined to compete again and began training relentlessley.
He said: “I did a decidedly average time but I was so hooked after it - I was on cloud nine and really proud of what I had achieved.
‘‘I had a new passion in my life and felt like I had finally found the sport that I love.”
Training for up to 20 hours a week paid off and, after coming eighth in the November 2011 Ironman UK 70.3 (a shorter version of the full Ironman) Ian was selected to represent Great Britain in the Half Ironman world championships, held in Las Vegas the following September.
The sport’s top professionals were in attendance including Pete Jacobs, the current full Ironman distance world champion, and Lance Armstrong was supposed to compete but was disqualified before the event after allegations of doping.
Ian again placed lower down the rankings than he hoped but took a lot from the experience.
He added: “The swim was good, the bike ride was amazing, but the run almost killed me. It was 42 degrees centigrade. I had one last race after Vegas last season. I gave it everything and ended up fifth, only beaten by a few elites.”
Now training for the Bolton race, Ian hopes to qualify for the world champioinships in Kona, Hawaii.
He said: “Hawaii is every athlete’s dream - to represent Great Britain again at the full Ironman World Championships would be incredible and one of my proudest moments.”
Anyone interested in sponsoring Ian should contact him via email Ian_orme@hotmail.co.uk