By Dale Le Vack
A FORMER Redditch student who studied at RSA Academy Arrow Vale has completed his first Ironman challenge at the age of 31.
Marc Mewis, now the sales and marketing manager at Wildmoor Spa and Health Club in Stratford, grew up in Redditch, and finally found time in his busy life to train and compete in the 30-35 age category of the Ironman event in Tenby last month.
Ironman is a triathlon consisting of a 2.4 mile swim in the sea, a 112-mile bike ride, and then a full marathon of 26.2 miles which must be completed within 17 hours. The event originated in Hawaii in the 1980s and is classed as one of the toughest sporting days in the world.
“The swim came first, then the cycling and finally the running,” said Marc.
“The swim started at 7am, then we had a one kilometre transition run to collect the bike, and get changed.
The cycle route went through Pembrokeshire, to places such as Angle, where we faced 45 mph winds, cycling to the top of the Narberth Mountains and climb around 7,000ft which is why it’s classed as the third toughest race on the Ironman calendar.
“Then came the marathon which started in the town centre. I completed the event in 14 hours 15 minutes. There are 65 spots available for the world championships in Hawaii so my ambition is to eventually qualify in the 40 to 45 year category over the next ten years.”
Marc turned in a time of 1 hour 23 minutes for the swim, 7:36 for the cycle and 4:45 for the marathon.
“I had to cut down my social life while training – there was no alcohol, and food bills became extortionate because of the supplements I had to use. My family put up with it and I was really grateful for their patience,” said Mark.