MailBigFile sponsors Lowestoft triathlete Joe Skipper, and from time to time we will be putting up some of his personal blog as articles on MailBigFile. We’ll also be doing more generally on a wide range of sports and technology articles.
Just to make sure all readers and clients are in the picture, Joe is a 24 year old athlete from MBF home area of Lowestoft who now ranks, probably 4th in the table of British Ironman triathletes. And that is quite something already. Joe is clearly the man to watch.
Just what is the Ironman?
Ironman is the name for an event of three long-distance races in the following order and carried out without a break on a single day starting at 7am and must be done by midnight!:
a swim of 2.4 miles (3.86 km) in maximum time of 2 hours 20 minutes;
a bike race of 112 miles (180.25 km) must be done by 5.30pm; and
a marathon run of 26.2 miles (42.2 km) which must be completed by midnight.
Talk about tough! Gruelling! Challenging!
MBF director Steve Barber decided to sponsor Joe in this sport because it’s one he is interested in but he also earmarked Joe as one he wanted to help. They met when training with Waveney Valley Athletics Club about seven or so years ago.
Steve said, ‘Joe was finding it hard to compete financially and we were in a position to help him with the costs.’ As to how long the deal is for, Steve said for a year and we will ‘hopefully renew next year. We’re thinking about a nice bright pink MailBigFile bike for Joe..!’
Joe the Character
Joe is like many athletes in that he was bitten when quite young. His parents took him swimming as a baby and then on the Oulton Broad Club. He attended St Mary’s Primary and Kirkley Middle schools in Lowestoft before joining Note Dame High School in Norwich for his secondary education.
Sport was always his best subject. He added an interest in cycling in his teens and then when he went to Manchester University to read Sports Management, he got involved in a top club in that city which led to his fascination with endurance sports. His trainer, Paul Savage, is in Manchester.
Barcelona was his first full Ironman race and between now and March, it’s keeping the training going and improving his fitness and distance skills. He is off to Spain for further training soon and we’ll be following his progress through the MBF blogs.
In the meantime, Joe says he would love to see Ironman added to the ever growing list of Olympic disciplines. There are 28 sports and in 2016 they will decide whether to add one of baseball, karate, roller sports, softball, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding, wushu or beach soccer.
A number of people are pushing for Ironman to muscle its way into that list, but it is such a massive event, others fear it would not be practicable and wouldn’t sustain the audience interest, even reduced in length somewhat.
After London 2012 that seems a flimsy excuse, and if enough people get behind it, then we should see it if not at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil then maybe in 2020 in wherever wins the bid.