Ironman Stuart shows his mettle

Stuart Parker

Stuart Parker

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A MARKET Rasen man has undergone a gruelling double fitness challenge to raise money for charity.

Stuart Parker is a familiar face behind the butchery counter at the town’s Co-op foodstore, but for the last two Sundays he has taken part in two ‘ironman’ events.

“Strangely enough, I felt worse on the Monday after the first event, than I did after the second one,” Stuart told the Rasen Mail.

Each ironman event featured a 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride and then a 26.2-mile run.

And Stuart was delighted with his performance at both events, but particularly at Nottingham on July 24, when he achieved a personal best time.

The second ironman challenge took place in Bolton on July 31.

Stuart, now 52, started running at the age of 23 and has taken part in marathons and ultra-marathons for the past 25 years.

But it was when he reached 50 that he decided to up his game and enter an ironman triathlon.

He has now completed five ironman challenges, but this is the first time he has done two back-to-back.

As previously reported in the Rasen Mail, Stuart originally planned to do the Enduroman Double Ironman Challenge in August, but this was cancelled.

“I felt ready to face the challenge and the pressure was there to complete the events as I knew there was sponsorship already in,” he said.

And that was the main reason for Stuart’s efforts – to raise money for the Help for Heroes charity, Lincolnshire Co-op’s charity of the year.

“I would like to thank all the customers for their generous sponsorship and staff members for their support,” said Stuart.

But there is one member of staff who Stuart has described as fantastic, his wife Judy.

“Judy has been the main fundraiser and has done an amazing job.

“Sometimes that job is harder than doing the challenge!”

Stuart says he has nothing lined up to do for a bit, but he may look at things for later in the year.

“There is a 50-mile run I quite fancy having a crack at,” he said.