A Sheffield teacher will put his summer holiday to good use - training for a Half Ironman later in the year.
Nick Melson, assistant principal at Firth Park Academy, decided to make the most of the long break from school in the coming weeks, usually a chance for recuperation and rest, to train for the challenge of a lifetime.
“I consider myself fairly fit, and not a bad runner or cyclist, but I think the swimming in the Ironman is going to really push me,” said Nick, aged 42 of Dore.
“I will be travelling to Lanzarote to a special fitness resort to try to prepare this summer. Luckily my family are also very sporty and enjoy exercise, so I’ll be able to train a couple of hours a day, and then spend the rest of the time playing tennis and surfing with them.”
A former army officer, Nick was commissioned to The British Army, into The Queen’s Royal Lancers, where he served as a tank commander, troop commander and platoon commander, around the world - including Kosovo, Bosnia, Northern Ireland and Cyprus. Nick left the army after six years, briefly moving into the financial services sector in London, before deciding to pursue a career in education, and moving up north to the steel city.
The Half Ironman, which he’ll take on on September 23, in Weymouth, consists of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile run.
“I’m no stranger to hard work and discipline, but I expect this to be really tough,” he said.
“All my students have been giving me loads of encouragement, and I definitely think being a teacher means participating in this sort of thing is more realistic. In the classroom I’m up on my feet a lot and I like my lessons to be as interactive and energetic as possible – which keeps me fit.”