Builder on his mettle to be Iron Man

BUILDER Mark Ramsey will be on his mettle next week as he faces one of the toughest challenges – and tries to prove he is a real Iron Man.Father-of-two Mr Ramsey is taking part in an incredible triathlon in the heat of Lanzarote where he will swim 2.

BUILDER Mark Ramsey will be on his mettle next week as he faces one of the toughest challenges – and tries to prove he is a real Iron Man.

Father-of-two Mr Ramsey is taking part in an incredible triathlon in the heat of Lanzarote where he will swim 2.4 miles, then cycle 112 miles, before running a full 26-mile marathon, and aims to do it in around 13 hours.

The energy-sapping event is known as the Iron Man, and expects to attract around 1,000 athletes hopeful of completing the demanding course.

Mr Ramsey, 33, of Grundisburgh, has been training for ten months and is being sponsored by friends, family and work colleagues, raising money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Mr Ramsey said: "I am really looking forward to it and have been training really hard.

"I did a half Iron Man before in Wales a couple of years ago, but this one is double the distance and said to be one of the hardest in the world because of the temperature and terrain.

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"We watched it last year and it was 85 degrees at times, the cycling is on quite a hilly course and very hard work, and while the marathon is on a fairly flat area along the seafront you do it in the hottest part of the day.

"When I saw it I was enthralled and decided there and then that I just wanted to do it and raise some money for a good cause at the same time if I can."

Mr Ramsey's wife Julie and their children Lauren, seven, and Gemma, three, will be among a huge party of family and friends watching the race.

In preparing for the event – which takes place on May 21 – Mr Ramsey has been putting in 22 hours a week in training, supported by members of Ipswich Tri-Club and Thomas Cycles, Foxhall Road, Ipswich.

He said: "I have been getting up at 4am a number of times a week to do ten miles running before I go to work, and then I come home and I am on the bike for two or three hours.

"At weekends I do a long run, anything between 15 and 22 miles, and a bike ride of 80 to 120 miles.

"I have really stepped it up since Christmas and had little time for anything except work and training, but the Iron Man is the ultimate challenge for me and I really want to do as well as I possibly can."

n Anyone who would like to sponsor Mr Ramsey or make a donation should send it to Flare Recruitment, St Margarets Street, Ipswich.

WEBLINK: www.ironmanlanzarote.com

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