After the difficult conditions of the previous year the 2018 Tenby Ironman Wales was blessed with good weather for everyone involved especially the Competitors. The event is regarded as one of the toughest iron man races race in the world, also one of the most iconic and celebrated with the most enthusiastic spectators to cheer on the competitors.
Thousands of spectators filled every look out point at Tenby’s North Bay to watch the early start of the event were over 2000 entrants entered the sea for the 2.4m swim, included amongst them was ACME member Gary Flower who’s competed in the event numerous times, this time thou he was determined to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii by finishing in the top six in his category
After Completing the swim in 1 hr 4 mins comfortably, Gary moved onto the second discipline a 112mile extremely underlating Cycle test. The route looped around Tenby, Angle, Pembroke, Carew, Narberth, Saundersfoot and back to Tenby to complete further laps. Enthusiastic Cheering spectators lined the streets of every town on route to view the appreciative competitors. The steep testing climb out of Saundersfoot was a popular spot where a narrow avenue for the competitors amongst the hundreds of cheering crowds.
Gary completed the cycle ride in 5 hrs 59 mins before the final discipline – the 26 mile Run which looped in and out of the atmospheric town of Tenby, Gary was now running in 4th place and looked like he would qualify for the Worlds in Hawaii. Running just in front of Gary was ex Welsh international and British Lion rugby player Shane Williams along with fellow retired players competing in the event, obviously they can’t leave serious competition alone.
Completing the run in 4 hrs 12 mins, Gary’s overhaul time on finishing the Ironman was 11 hrs 29 mins. Once again a great achievement in this grueling event. Gary was very pleased to finish fourth in category and automatic selection to Hawaii was achieved which was the personnel goal.
Some hours later Gary received some disappointing news, selection for Hawaii had been changed and only the top three would travel to the Worlds championships. This was especially disappointing as the third place competitor was not far in front of Gary and moving up one position higher was a possibility.
How the rule changed or lack of communications about the worlds selection process was a mystery to Gary, but is determined to try again next year to achieve is goal to compete at the Worlds…
More Images from the Event :- Click Here