Harrogate couple Mark and Caroline Livesey shine at Ironman World Championships

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Husband and wife triathletes Mark and Caroline Livesey battled gruelling conditions to complete the World Ironman Championships in Hawaii this month - and Caroline returned with a bronze medal.

The couple, from Menworth Hill, flew to the Hawaiian Island of Kona to compete in what is considered the most prestigious Ironman race.

Despite being no different from any other Ironman challenge in terms, the powerful winds, searing temperature and intense humidity made it the toughest of them all.

Mark, 42, finished the three-course event in nine hours and 33 minutes to finish 155th overall and 21st in his age group.

Not to be outdone by her husband, Caroline produced a tremendous race to finish in 10 hours and 13 minutes.

Caroline’s fantastic time meant she finished as the 38th lady overall, including 27 professionals, and the third best in the world at her age group.

Caroline, 35, said she was ‘over the moon’ with her achievement in Kona, especially considering the difficult conditions, but admitted the scale of her accomplishments only dawned on her later that evening.

She said: “It took us a while to find out how well we had done because Mark had to beg to use one of the volunteer’s phones. I was still feeling so terrible when I found out because I’m always hit by a wall of agony afterwards.

“I was just trying not to be sick but I was really pleased.

“We went out for a meal later that evening and that was when it came home. Mark and I love racing and the elation of finishing a tough race.”

Mark was particularly proud of his wife’s achievements in Hawaii and said her hard work, both at work and in training, was an inspiration to young girls.

Caroline said: “I would love to be a motivation for young girls to get into the sport. It’s very tough and takes a lot of work to train 20 hours and work 40 hours but I could not do any of it without Mark.

“I’m lucky. I’m able to share the training and the stress. He’s a great coach to me.”