Ironmen complete the Tenby grueller

Ash Epton, Pete Nicholls and Paul Nicholls.
Ash Epton, Pete Nicholls and Paul Nicholls.

For many triathletes, the crowning glory of the sport is to finish an Ironman distance event.

Three Skegness Triathlon Club members chose one of Europe’s toughest races, Ironman Wales, to do just that this weekend.

Many months of consistent training and using the facilities at Fresh Fitness acted as good preparation for the race.

Held in Tenby - the race, with its unique scenery, sea swim and hills - attracts athletes from around the world.

Pete Nicholls, Paul Nicholls and Ashley Epton were among the 2,500 participants to start the race.

The 2.4-mile swim was off the main beach in Tenby.

Water temperatures were cooler than normal so the jellyfish were absent this year.

The one kilometre run through spectator lined streets to the transition area is a sight to behold.

The atmosphere was incredible and great for athletes and their family to see each other at that stage in the race.

Paul was first out on the bike, quickly followed by Ash and Pete.

Ideal weather conditions were a bonus as the 112-mile bike course is exceptionally hilly with over 8,000 feet of climbing.

Athletes make their way out of Tenby to Saundersfoot, Narbeth, Templeton and Carew.

With a cut-off time for the first two disciplines in the race , athletes have to be mindful of their average cycling speed so they’re not picked up by the sweeper van.

The support on the bike course was a real boost for the three friends.

After returning bikes to the transition area, the final element of the race is a gruelling 26.2-mile run.

This takes place on closed roads weaving through the surrounding countryside and town centre of Tenby.

The red carpet and finish line were a very welcome sight, as they heard the phrase: you are an Ironman.

Results: Paul Nicholls 12.34:30, Ashley Epton 13.04:11, Pete Nicholls 14.33:57.