Ironman steels himself for ultra contest

A SUFFOLK policeman is one of just 25 people from around the world to have been picked for one of the toughest endurance challenges.Pc Simon Bourne from Bury St Edmunds has been invited to take part in the Ultraman event in Canada, which consists of three days of gruelling running, cycling and swimming.

A SUFFOLK policeman is one of just 25 people from around the world to have been picked for one of the toughest endurance challenges.

Pc Simon Bourne from Bury St Edmunds has been invited to take part in the Ultraman event in Canada, which consists of three days of gruelling running, cycling and swimming.

The challenge is the culmination of Pc Bourne's Ironman2Ultraman challenge, which he began last year, to raise money for Cancer Research UK in memory of his wife's grandfather.

He said: “My preparations in 2007 went well, although not without a hiccup.

“I competed in the World Triathlon Championships for the fourth time, in just over five hours. I then competed in Ironman France but I suffered from heat exhaustion and was pulled out of the race.

“However, I was allowed to compete in the Ironman UK event in August, and I completed that in a little under 12 hours. The conditions were bad and it's the toughest Ironman course in the world - but it was a piece of cake and I felt fine afterwards.”

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Pc Bourne, who works with the youth offending team in Bury, is now stepping up his training to prepare for the Ultraman competition.

Held in British Columbia between August 25 and September 2, competitors take part in a 6.2 mile swim, 260 mile bike ride and a double marathon over three days.

He said: “Training can be very lonely, as no-one wants to join you if your cycle session is 100 miles or you're swimming for four hours. So these events are very useful for my competitive spirit.

“I feel extremely privileged to be taking part in Ultraman - I will be the first British police officer to compete, and one of only two Britons in the competition. I can't wait to move up to Ultraman, which I feel is my natural level. If I don't make the top three it won't be worth the effort - I intend to win.”

Donations can be made to the Ironman2Ultraman appeal by visiting www.justgiving.com/sbourne