Irishman proves he's the toughest in the world
AN IRISH athlete has won one of the most excrutiating endurance events to become a world Ironman.
Gerry Duffy (43) from Mullingar, who formerly struggled with his weight and a smoking addiction, swam 2.4 miles, cycled 112 miles and then ran 26.2 miles every day for 10 days in first ever Deca Enduroman challenge.
He was one of just three athletes to complete the event and beat competitors by an incredible 19 hours.
As of this morning, Gerry has raised close to €4,000 for Irish Autism Action -- a modest amount compared to the €500,000 he has raised through fundraising over the past few years.
Speaking this morning, Gerry described the 10-day event as "colossal and unbelievably challenging".
"My only goal each day was to finish the event. It was an exceptionally hard challenge. I kept reminding myself that I was here for my own desire to do extreme challenges," he said.
"I was doing it for myself and my own personal challenges but especially to raise money for Irish autism."
Gerry admits that he struggled with his weight and smoking addiction for several years but decided to change his lifestyle.
"I'm the most normal regular person that used to do all the wrong things. I realised in 1995 that I was going nowhere in life," he said.
"I was extremely overweight and a smoker. It shows anybody can do it if you have the desire and the hunger."