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Dad overcomes fear of water to face Ironman

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A 47-year-old father of two who only learned to swim in the past 12 months has completed an Ironman challenge.

Mike Butterworth of Boston Spa, finished last weekend’s Outlaw Triathlon at Nottingham, after overcoming the fear of water with his sights set firmly on another target.

“A good friend, Matt Turnbull, asked for help last year when he undertook a massive challenge for a charity close to his heart - to do seven Iron distance triathlons over seven days,” said Mike.

“His last triathlon was in Nottingham at the Outlaw 2017. It was at the end of this amazing challenge I decided to do an Ironman myself for a charity close to my heart, Cancer Research UK.

“My mother in Law died two days after Matt completed his challenge so I thought I’d use this as a focus to overcome my fear of water and learnt to swim at the age of 47 so I could complete the Outlaw 2018 and raise some money for this fantastic organisation.”

Mike added of his efforts on Sunday: “I did it in 11 hours 48 mins.

“I trained for 12 months, twice per day every day apart from four scheduled rest days.

“My family and friends have cheered me on from day one, training through the coldest, longest winter, the beast from the east, and one of the hottest summers! It’s not been easy.”

Mike had been a keen runner as a schoolboy in Edinburgh but later in life as family demands grew to children Oli, 19, and Sam, 16, and work, he found it harder to find the time to train.

“At the age of 45 I decided it was time to take control and undertook a programme of exercise (mainly cycling, weight and running) and within four months transformed my fitness,” added Mike of High Street, who works for Forever Living Products.

“I am delighted to say that I have raised £700 plus for Cancer Research UK and have developed the taste for triathlon.

“I think the full ironman distance will be a one off. Shorter distance races mean that training involved is more conducive to family life.”