When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
'Midlife crisis' led to me becoming an Ironman
HE has just completed one of the toughest endurance races in the world – and Nick Wall says it’s down to ‘a midlife crisis’.
The 47-year-old father of two from The Wallops in Hampshire took part in the Ironman Wales competition on Sunday.
This saw him swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles and finish off with a marathon run, about half of which was uphill.
It was Nick’s first Ironman competition after giving up smoking and starting running around eight years ago.
“It was a bit of a midlife crisis really,” he says of taking up running.
“I fancied having a go at triathlons and did some organised by the Andover Triathlon Club and then joined them in October.”
It was then that Nick, a farm advisor, first started thinking about training for an Ironman competition.
“When I joined the triathlon club I got to know people who had done one or two Ironman competitions and it starts to seem doable.
“My usual circle of friends can’t comprehend the distances involved!
“You always think of an Ironman as the ultimate competition and I fancied giving it a go. It’s great when people look at you with bewilderment about what you’re going to do. I enjoy that feeling!”
Training for the competition has been a huge undertaking, not only for Nick but also his family – wife Jane and daughters Emily, 12, and Annie, 9.
He started training in March and went from training for around five hours a week to 20.
This meant doing an hour on week nights, three to seven on a Saturday and swimming training on Sunday evenings.
“It was difficult for the whole family, having to leave places so I could get back in time for my training,” says Nick.
“It was a huge commitment for all of us. You couldn’t do this without the support of your family.
But Nick has loved it.
“You feel more alive, you’re fitter and you feel great because of all the endorphins.
“Also, I’ve lost around two stone, which was another reason for doing it – even if it’s a bit of an extreme solution!
“It’s the ultimate challenge really. The marathon I did yesterday was the first marathon I’ve ever run, which is quite cool – doing the first one in an Ironman!”
Nick completed the race in 14 hours and 25 minutes, coming 918 out of almost 1,700 athletes. Nick’s wife Jane says that watching Nick take part was quite an e m o t i o n a l experience. “It was amazing to watch,” she says.
“The atmosphere was fantastic. I don’t know how he did it, but he had a smile all the way around, even the last two laps.
“We are all so proud of him. It was worth all the hours of wishing he was at home, to see him doing something he really wanted to do.”
Annie and Emily with their Iron Kids medals
Nick has already raised more than £1,000 for his chosen charities – Naomi House and Jacksplace, which provide care and support to life-limited children and children with life-threatening diseases and the Multiple Sclerosis Research and Relief Fund, in honour of his wife, who lost her father to the disease.
He says he now feels ‘drained’, both emotionally and physically – but will definitely look for new challenges to take on in the future.
“It’s great to show my girls that there’s no such word as ‘can’t’,” he says, adding that his daughters are also keen triathletes who took part in the Ironkids competition at the weekend.
“Even when I’ve watched the Race for Life (a 5km fun run), it’s amazing to see people push themselves outside of their comfort zone.
“Everyone should try to do something they think they can’t do, because they’ll find that they can. It would be great if I could inspire someone else by doing this.
“It’s just so easy to say ‘no’, isn’t it?”
- You can still sponsor Nick. For more information, visit justgiving.com/Nick-Wall4 and justgiving.com/Nick-Wall2
Comments are closed on this article.