Iron man celebrates his Welsh victory nnnnnnnnn

Gerard on track for success in his Iron Man challenge
Gerard on track for success in his Iron Man challenge

Former Knott End schoolboy Gerard Ormerod finished one of the world’s toughest endurance events, the Welsh Ironman in under 12 hours.

Gerard, known as Ged, 53, completed the gruelling course in Pembrokeshire in 10th place for his age group 50-54years and was 201st among 1,675 competitors with a time of 11 hours 46 minutes and 36 seconds.

Ex-smoker Ged swapped his love for cigarettes for his running shoes when he was 36 and has pounded the pavements since, competing in triathalons before turning his attention to Ironman.

The contest had extra significance for Ged as a bicycle accident on black ice in December 2009 led to a broken femur, which had prevented him entering the Ironman contest in 2010.

Gedwho attended St William’s RC School in Pilling and now lives in Devon wrote a diary account of the event and notes: “I remember my smoking days. When I gave it up I decided to take up running, swap one addiction for another and 17 years later and I am desperately trying to complete this race, suddenly I know I will do it.”

Ironman is regarded as the most gruelling of events with the Tenby challenge last month including an early morning 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile cycling circuit and a 26 mile run.

Up to 1,675 athletes from 40 countries took part in the challenge, including 90 from Pembrokeshire.

Competitors set off from the shore at Tenby, with a ride through south Pembrokeshire, including an exhausting climb up Saundersfoot’s St Brides Hill.