Swim, bike, run, for iron man

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Scarborough’s very own iron man has just completed his latest gruelling challenge – The Outlaw Iron Distance Triathlon.

John Hunter, a 48-year-old builder from Brigantia Gardens, said it was something he had always wanted to do and was pleased with his performance.

He completed event – which includes a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle ride and full marathon – in 13 hours and 30 minutes.

“It was my first but whether I do another I don’t know,” he added. “I enjoyed it and I’m not feeling as bad as I thought I’d be.”

The event was held on Sunday at Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham, but Mr Hunter will have to wait until the tresults are posted online before he finds out how he was placed out of the 1,050 entrants.

He said that, out of the three, swimming was his worst section. “I made all my cut-off times – my weak thing is swimming and I was 15 minutes inside the cut-off.

“I felt very good and elated afterwards because it’s something I’d always wanted to do.

“1,050 entrants was the limit but I don’t how many finished – there were a lot of punctured tyres along the route.”

Mr Hunter is well known for such challenges – he is a previous coal carrying champion and a record holder speed marching during the 1990s.

He said that he woul;d be taking part in the Para 10 speed march event at Catterick Garrison which he completed two years ago.

It covers a 10 mile course carrying a 35lb pack and entrants have to wear regulation Army boots.

He said: “Two years ago I came 30th out of 1,000. The cut-off was 1hr 50mins and I did it in 1hr and 30mins. This year I’d like to be in the top 20.”

Mr Hunter said that he held the Guinness World Record for speed marching, carrying a 44lb pack, with a best time of 4hrs and 6mins. He said: “It’s been broken since but I held it twice.”

He added that he did well in his age group, for those aged between 45 and 49-years-old, but admitted that his of winning events were behind him.

The coal carrying legend finished a credit-able fourth in theWorld Coal Carrying Championships held in Gawthorpe on Easter Monday – a title he has won a joint-record eight times previously.

He won the Gawthorpe coal hump eight times and has never dropped out of the top four in 23 years – his eight wins equalled the currentworld record.

But while his days of challenging for the top prize may be over, he is confident of success in the veteran’s race which is being organised for over-40s to mark the 50th anniversary of the event.

It was the 23rd time he had entered the Gawthorpe event – he did his first one in 1990 and the training and competitions have become a huge part of his life over the years.

Last year he won the coal hump contest in Scotland and was hoping to try to defend his title this year, but the date clashed with the weekend’s Iron Man event.