A Doncaster fitness instructor, who only learnt to swim two years ago, has now set his sights on competing for Great Britain in triathalons.
Richard Smith, a fitness instructor for the Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (DCLT), had always been a keen runner and cyclist but was unable to swim for more than two lengths.
But after becoming a member of Doncaster Triathlon Club and learning how to swim properly, the 36-year-old is now on the road to achieving his dreams by preparing for his first half iron man event.
He said: “I got involved in triathlons as I had a client, Lucy Smith, who decided she was doing the Ironman UK event and wanted some advice about how best to approach her training. At that point, it wasn’t something I had lots of expertise in so I decided to contact Doncaster Triathlon Club and find out more. This led to me getting involved in triathlons so I became more knowledgeable about the event and could help my client as well as take part in them myself.
“At first, it was the swimming that was proving to be the real difficulty for me. It took a good two months before my technique finally clicked. After that I decided to literally throw myself in the deep end by booking my first triathlon event in May 2015. It helped because it gave me something to aim for and since then I have gone from strength-to-strength.
Richard is due to complete two half iron man events in 2016. The Outlaw event in Nottingham on May 29 and the Vitruvian Man event in Rutland in September both involve a 1.2mile swim, 56mile bike ride and 13.1mile run. He adds that his overall aim is compete for Great Britain in sprint distance triathlons.