Champion’s Head of IT has successfully completed the grand daddy of all endurance races.

Simon Turtington, 39, from Lowton, joined more than 2,000 athletes from around the globe to take part in the UK’s 10th annual Ironman challenge on Sunday 20 July.

The 140.6 mile pursuit kicked off at 6am with a 2.4 mile swim at Pennington Flash in Leigh, followed by a 112-mile cycle around Lancashire and finishing with a 26.2 mile marathon throughout the streets of Bolton.

After undertaking a tough seven and a half month training regime, Simon had 17 hours to complete the course in order to be an “official finisher”. He successfully crossed the finishing line at 18:48, clocking an impressive time of 12 hours 48 minutes and finishing 565th overall and 101st in his age category.

To date, Simon has raised more than £3,000 from the event for Champion client Francis House Children’s Hospice in Didsbury, Manchester. The hospice provides short breaks of respite care in a fun and relaxing environment to children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their families.

Simon said: “It was an unbelievable day, a truly unforgettable and amazing experience. The swim was horrific, being part of a mass start over over 2,000 people in open water. One bloke compared it to being in a washing machine.”

“The bike leg was enjoyable. I didn’t have any mechanical failures or punctures which, before the race, was a big fear for me.There were some bad crashes; one guy I saw literally had the shirt ripped off his back when he came off down a fast descent.”

“The marathon was really tough. Mile 20-25 was an arduous battle with my mind. However, after mile 25 I knew I was going to finish and literally felt all the aches and pains leave my body. It was like someone had flicked a switch.”

“The run down the finishing chute and being announced as an Ironman was a magical moment.”

Ged Cosgrove, managing director of Champion Accountants added: “The entire Champion team is extremely proud of Simon’s achievement.

“Those that rise to the Ironman challenge are not ordinary but extraordinary and I was delighted to see Simon cross the finish line and complete one of the world’s toughest long-distance races.”

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