Borders MSP John Lamont yesterday completed the world-famous UK Ironman – and is believed to be the first politician to complete the race.
During the 10th anniversary of the UK-wide event, held across Bolton and Lancashire, the Conservative MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire battled the elements, fatigue and the infamous runner’s ‘wall’.
The race involved swimming for 2.4 miles, cycling for 112 miles before completing a full, 26.2-mile marathon and had to be finished within a strict time limit of 17hrs.
He finished in an impressive time of 12hrs and 47 minutes, finishing 97th in his age group and 555th out of 2,000 competitors.
Thanks to his efforts, the Scottish Conservative 2015 candidate for Westminster’s Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk seat managed to burn 12,000 calories.
Mr Lamont had been preparing himself for the occasion over the course of the last year, getting up at 4am to train before work to prepare with Colin Stevenson and Kevin Gillie, who also took part and are both fellow members of the Borders Triathlon Club.
Mr Lamont said: “I am absolutely delighted to complete this incredibly tough race. To have finished this awesome challenge is an amazing feeling and it has made me determined to look for more opportunities like this one.
“I want to thank all the people who have helped and supported me in the months leading up to yesterday. I’m especially grateful to Debbie Fortune and Graham Easson, my swimming coaches and my running coach Brian Scott. Brian Nichol of Kelso, who completed an ironman two years ago and was also a constant source of helpful advice.
“I’d like to especially thank Greg Dalgleish and Stuart Oliver owners of Think Fitness gym in Hawick and Mark Rutherford who kept my legs moving during the last few months with regular sports massages.
“Kelso bike shop owner Simon Porteous also deserves a special mention for the excellent work he did making sure my bike was in good working order.”
Mr Lamont added: “I want to pass on my congratulations to all who came out and competed in this gruelling race. Thanks are due to the organisers who for the past decade have done a terrific job in encouraging people to take the plunge and become an ironman.”