The race started at 7am with the open water swim in Wimbleball lake. The first orange marker on the far side of the lake looked an intimidating distance. Ben was a little tense about this stage of the race, as he had only started training for the swim a few months ago, at which point he could barely manage a length of front crawl without turning blue!
Following the national anthem the start was an awesome sight, as two waves of a 1000 competitors embarked on the Challenge. Ben did stray off course slightly getting caught out with the currents and almost beached himself on the shore at one point! However, he soon emerged from the water looking fresh after just 42 minutes. After a 400 meter run up the grass bank to the transition tent it was time to jump on the bike and tackle the 56.6 mile course. This gruelling ride consisted of 2 laps around the Exmoor terrain with around 6000 ft of climb. Managing to Avoid any punctures or incidents Ben completed this stage in 3hrs 10 minutes before finally slipping his trainers on to start the half Marathon, which was a 3 three lap course. Once again this was hilly terrain with 1300 ft of climb and along an impressive road across the dam wall at the far side before heading back towards the race village and start line. Running is Ben's strongest point, completing the half Marathon in an impressive 1hr 32 minutes. The winning time for the event was an incredible 4 hrs 19 minutes by Philip Graves, who became the youngest man ever to win the race.
The atmosphere at this race was fantastic and the red carpet finish line was something to be savoured! We are looking forward to seeing Ben compete in more of the Iron man series and his ambition is to attempt a full Iron man in the not too distant future, so watch this space!
A big thank you to everyone that has sponsored Ben for this event. The funds are greatly appreciated and will help Matlock and district Mencap to carry on the great work they do for their members.