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Town triathlete tackles his first Ironman

Tuesday, 17th June 2014.

Haverhill triathlete Jack Tappin competed in his biggest test yet when he took part in Ironman 70.3 UK - the world's hardest Ironman 70.3 triathlon.

The 26-year-old was among 1,738 budding triathletes to congregate at Wimbleball Lake in Brompton Regis, Somerset, on Sunday.

The race has been classed as the toughest of the world's 56 Ironaman 70.3 triathlons based on the time added to elite finish times, often adding 45 minutes or more.

This is due to the two-lap cycle route climbing a total of 13,498 ft - four times the height of Snowdon - with the steepest hills rising by over 1,000 ft.

The half-marathon that followed included 6,033 ft of ascent.

Tappin completed the 1.2-mile swim in 41min 37sec and then the gruelling 56-mile cycle in 3hr 53min.

He then did the 13.1-mile run in 2hr 14min 50sec.
He crossed the finish line in 7hr 4min 32sec to finish 881st.

"The organisers warned us it was the toughest Ironman 70.3 in the world in the pre-race briefing but I didn't realise what a difference that would make until I got on the bike," said Tappin.

"The last two middle distance triathlons I did I have managed to average 19 mph on the bike but here it was a struggle to maintain 15 mph - there were mile-long hills that you had to drive up in second.

"I had trouble changing down gears quickly enough on a couple and then once off the bike it was a real struggle to get going again as the hills were just too steep and the bike kept doing wheelies.

"With that finished, the run included some equally monstrous hills, but on the plus side there were some lovely, albeit terrifying drops, and some beautiful views from atop the hills.

"The route added over 1hr 10 to my personal best time for this distance.

"Only 0.0025 per cent of the world's population will complete an Ironman 70.3 so it feels good to be among that group.

"I've done all my middle distance triathlons for this year and completed my goals of doing a sub-six-hour middle distance tri and Ironman.

"I will now analyse what I want to do next year and if I'll be ready to step up to full Ironman distance."

Haverhill Online News

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