Firefighters prepared to blaze a trail at Ironman Challenge
SIX Dublin firefighters are gearing up to blaze a trail through Dublin this weekend as the Ironman Challenge makes its mark on the capital for the first time.
Ironman 70.3 will see more than 2,500 competitors push their bodies to the limits for Europe's biggest triathlon brand.
The intense race, which is supported by Dublin City Council, begins with a 1.2 mile (nearly 2km) swim, followed by a 56 mile (90km) bike ride before contestants tackle a staggering 13 mile (21km) half marathon.
It all adds up to a hefty 112km journey that will take off at 6.50am on Sunday.
Preparation for the event consists of 10-12 hour training sessions each week, and Brian Doyle of Dun Laoghaire Fire Station said a balance of the three different disciplines is a necessity.
"They say that we should be doing three training sessions in running, three in swimming and three in cycling, but I do a good bit more cycling," said Brian.
"I cycle to work in Dun Laoghaire from Ashford, Wicklow everyday - it's a 35km cycle each way."
Brian said there'll be no major celebrations afterwards. "I'll be too tired - I'll probably just go home and rest, and then maybe have a couple of drinks with my wife."
Meanwhile, Liz Hanley (38) of the Dolphin's Barn branch has been doing triathlons for 13 years and co-founded her own club in 2002.Pulse Triathlon Club trains in the Phoenix Park, Ringsend, Blanchardstown and Tallaght and has 272 senior members and 30 juniors - including her two children Cian and Aoife.
Liz's preparations have been hampered after she sprained her ankle training.
"I haven't been able to do any running, but I hope the rest of my fitness work will carry me through," she said.
Other firefighters taking part in the challenge include Keith Douglas, Michael Duggan and Martin McCord, all from the Donnybrook station, and Ray Kenny from the Dun Laoghaire branch.