Iron man test for seven of the best ...

From left, Triathlon Club members Greg Shearer, Andrew Milne, Stuart Green and  Aaron Krzyzanowski. Pic: FPA
From left, Triathlon Club members Greg Shearer, Andrew Milne, Stuart Green and Aaron Krzyzanowski. Pic: FPA

It’s enough to bring any non sports person out in a cold sweat just thinking about it - but in two weeks time seven hardy locals will take on the ultimate test of endurance.

For six members of the Glenrothes Triathlon Club will attempt to complete the Ironman Challenge - a gruelling combination of a 2.4 mile open water swim followed by a 112 mile bike ride and rounded off with a full 26.2 mile marathon.

It’s a bit daunting when you sit and think about the distances involved

Andrew Milne

It’s accepted by many health experts as the ultimate test of fitness and endurance.

The group, which includes three athletes from Glenrothes, Andrew Milne, Greig Shearer and Stuart Green, have all been working on their stamina for several months, which has included regular swims at Lochore Meadows.

What’s more, all those attempting to complete the challenge are first timers, as none have completed the Ironman Challenge before.

“It’s a bit daunting when you sit and think about the distances involved, “said Glenrothes resident Andrew Milne.

“Until you are right there involved in it you can’t really know what to expect but we’ve worked on the fitness levels and conditioning for several months now so we hope the preparations will see us through.”

And their training will certainly be put to the test come July 18 when they take to the water at the notorious Pennington Flash lake near Bolton.

Once the swim is completed the athletes have the small matter of a 112 mile cycle which includes the nfamous Sheep House Lane climb and then the marathon which sets off from the Macron Stadium, home to Bolton Wanderers.

“I’ve heard the challenge takes in some picturesque Lancashire scenery, I’ve a funny feeling we won’t be thinking about that too much though,” admitted Andrew.

The ultimate test of endurance and fitness

In 1978, U.S. Naval Commander John Collins and his wife Judy issued a challenge.

They proposed combining a 2.4 mile swim race, 112 mile bike race, and 26.2 mile marathon - something many experts said was impossible.

But on February 18, 1978 15 competitors, including Collins, travelled to Hawaii to take on the first-ever ‘Ironman challenge’.

Since then the gruelling event - widely accepted as the ultimate test of endurance and fitness - has flourished with regular challenge events taking place in over 175 countries.