A FORMER Royal Marine from Nether Kellet will travel to Hawaii to compete in what is described as the planet’s most prestigious triathlon event.
Richard Mason, 45, will battle against up to 1,800 competitors on a 140 mile journey in the Ironman World Championship on October 8.
The Hawaii race comprises a 2.4 mile swim in the bay of Kailua-Kona, a 112 mile bike across a lava desert and a 26.2 mile marathon run along the coast.
To qualify for the World Championship Richard, a former Carnforth High School pupil, had to gain a top place in Ironman UK this year which he achieved on July 31 with a personal best time of nine hours, 59.05 seconds.
He said: “I have attempted to qualify for the Ironman World Championship for the last four years.
“Qualifying was the biggest achievement of my triathlon career so far.”
Richard is now undertaking a gruelling fitness regime, to prepare him for the challenge.
He said: “It’s been grim. I train for up to 25 hours a week and on some days I will do eight hours: a one hour swim, a five hour bike ride followed by a two hour run.”
Richard is also preparing to face crosswinds of 45 mph, 95 degree temperatures and a scorching sun as well as intense humidity.
See the Lancaster Guardian (15-09-11) for full story.