Ironman UK: Mud, Sweat And Tears

The rain, the mud, the grizzly men in damp white vests, old football shorts and leather lace-ups grunting up inclines, belly flopping onto choppy grey waters, smashing around on rusty bicycles...
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The rain, the mud, the grizzly men in damp white vests, old football shorts and leather lace-ups grunting up inclines, belly flopping onto choppy grey waters, smashing around on rusty bicycles...

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Close your eyes and imagine a US Ironman competition. The gleaming muscles, the shiny lycra all-in-ones, the sunshine beating down, the Springsteen backing track. It’s tiring, it’s glamourous, the whole thing’s RIDICULOUS. Now close your eyes again and picture the British equivalent (as pictured above by David Byrne). The rain, the mud, the grizzly men in damp white vests, old football shorts and leather lace-ups grunting up inclines, belly flopping onto choppy grey waters, smashing around on rusty bicycles.

That’s your real Ironman competition – based at the throbbing heart of the countryside, designed to slowly torment every fibre of your body, pre-arranged to coincide with hideous weather conditions. But do we complain? No sir, we do not. We are Brits. We crack a defiant grin at the maelstrom and march onwards. It’s enough to make you want to throw your head back and burst into Rule Britannia.

Writes Josh Burt

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