Bassetlaw Triathlon Club duo take on gruelling Welsh Ironman challenge
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Twelve months of training and preparation were all concertinaed into one long hard day as Matt Ilett and Matt Quibell, both experienced triathletes with a whole of range of previous events under the belt, were part of a 3,000 contingent to descend on the normally sleepy town of Tenby in South Wales.
Quibell's finishing time of 10 hours and 9 minutes gained him an automatic place in the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, while Illet finished in 14 hours and 15 minutes.
Illet said: “Tenby was amazing and without the support of my family and friends I don’t think I would have kept going. My 'Iron widow' now gets me back - for a while.
“You just keep going, even though everything in us is screaming at us to give up.
“We press on, to achieve our goals, that’s why we do it. So that when life starts to feel impossible, we remember that we can do it.
“When someone tells us that what we want to achieve is too much, too big, we smile and we go do it anyway because, in a world that feels too dark and too scary at times, we need to remember, we can do far more than anyone thinks we can.”
There was a dawn start for the two-loop 2.4-mile sea swim course on the famous North Beach in the seaside town of Tenby.
With a tide pushing against the competitors the start was a reminder of the challenges to come during the day.
Once out of the sea the pair were cheered on by crowds along the long run up the zig zag stairs and into transition, making this a once in a lifetime experience for any athlete
With the weather building in temperature the two-loop 112-mile bike course took athletes through the scenic countryside of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park plus the numerous castles and iconic landmarks trying to distract from the effort needed to overcome the 2,450 meters of climbing
The four-loop 26.2 mile (42.2 km) run course is a 'you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it' kind of experience.
It looped around the medieval town walls and picturesque beach front that was lined with tens of thousands of spectators, pushing each triathlete all the way to the finish line.