12:00PM, Monday 23 August 2021
Andrew Nicholson crossing the finishing line with sons Remy (left) and Gabriel (right).
In spite of the early mornings and intense training regimen, Maidenhead resident Andrew Nicholson says he is proud to have completed a half-Ironman triathlon this summer.
Andrew, of Furze Platt, swam, cycled and ran a combined 142 miles for the gruelling long-distance event in Eastbourne, remarkably on the hottest day of the year.
However, throughout the challenge – and its rigorous preparations – he was constantly motivated by his three children and wife Melanie.
Crossing the finishing line hand-in-hand with sons Remy and Gabriel, Andrew recorded a time of 13 hours and 31 minutes.
He had just completed a 3.8km swim, a 182km bike ride, and a 42km marathon.
“I don’t know if it was a midlife decision or not, but I wanted to see if I was capable of the challenge,” said Andrew speaking of the experience.
“I’ve always been a bit of a swimmer; a bit of a cyclist; and I enjoy running so it made sense to put all three together and sign up for the triathlon.
“The training took me about eight months. It involved a cycle or a swim in the morning, a run in the afternoon, and some more exercise after work for six days a week.
“It was intense. There were a lot of 5am starts, and long evenings, but working from home made my preparations so much easier.
“On the actual day of the event, it was over 30 degrees and that was something I hadn’t really prepared for. I needed to keep myself very hydrated to keep going.
“As much of those endurance events are a physical challenge, they’re a mental battle too.
“It got tough halfway through the marathon but with so many friends and family watching on, I just couldn’t give up.
“I was hoping to get the whole event done in 12 hours, but I managed it in 13. The heat took a lot out of me, so I was cautious not to overdo it.
“I did it for my boys. They were my biggest motivators, so I want to be a good role model for them and show them how to push themselves.”
Andrew’s wife, Melanie, added: “We are all incredibly proud of his achievement and love him loads.”
The UK has voted to leave the European Union in yesterday's referendum - and while the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead fell into the remain camp, Slough voted to support a Brexit.