RUNNING a marathon under ordinary conditions is tough enough.
Now image running one straight after you have swum 2.4 miles in a lake and then cycled 116 miles.
And then imagine snatching a few hours sleep and then doing all that for five consecutive days?
That is what ultra-fit Swanwick tri-athlete David Miles, 45, did last year.
Now imagine doing all that for ten days in a row. Any takers? I thought not!
Except David Miles will be there, competing in what is what is known as the ‘ultimate’ endurance race.
Miles comes from a running background and after doing his first ‘sprint’ triathlon in 1999 which took just over an hour to complete, his thirst for conquering the unconquerable has grown each year.
“A few guys at the local running club had entered a triathlon and the gauntlet was laid. So I had a crash course in swimming lessons and bought a £30 second-hand bike to do my first one!
“It has just grown and grown from there, and at the end of the day, it is a great way of keeping fit and seeing parts of the world you wouldn’t normally see.
“I have always looked to push my own boundaries and limits. Some years ago I thought the marathon was the ultimate race and a long way. I then took up triathlons and did my first Iroman distance triathlon in 2004. After competing in both the European and World championships I decided to go longer and did a ‘double iron’ distance race in 2008 and again in 2009.
“Whilst there was a ‘triple’ distance race, the format of the quin appealed more. One Iron Distance Race per day for five days rather than three on a continual format.
“The hardest part of it was lack of sleep and minor nagging injuries, that, and the gale force winds on the last day.
“I picked up a gash on the ball of my foot on day one, which had to be taped up to enable me to cycle and run, plus a very swollen ankle on day three.”
The next few months will all be spent training hard for the event which starts on June 1 and goes through to June 10.
The race will include a total of 24 miles of swimming, 1,120 miles on a cycle and a staggering 655 miles of running, all in ten days.
It is the daddy of all races and is there to be done!
He explained: “There are other Deca Iron Distance races in Italy and Mexico, but these are hosted on flat courses on closed roads. But, the Deca event at Avon Tyrrell is the hardest on the planet due to the fact that the swim is in open water, not in a pool. The bike is very hilly and open to all the elements and the marathon has over 1000ft of climbing per day.
“Only three people of 20 starters completed this in 2011. I want to be number four”.
Asked if he thinks he will still be walking at the end of it, Miles replied: “Looking at this year’s finishers, I will need more than a day off work to recover!”
During last year’s Enduroman European Ultra Triathlon Championships in the New Forest in Hampshire, David also had the gratification of raising £1,500 for Cancer Research UK.