Gainsborough triathlete Luke Mathews made an impressive debut at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii last weekend.
The Off That Couch Fit and Lincsquad athlete showed his multisport credentials to convincingly beat his IMUK time and deliver an inspirational performance.
The world’s toughest Ironman competition sees the best triathletes from across the globe gather to tackle a 2.2 mile ocean swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run in an invitation only event.
Mathews, 28, qualified for a trip to Hawaii with his finishing time in the UK event in Bolton earlier this year.
Last weekend, he crossed the line in nine hours 45 minutes, knocking a huge 30 minutes off his personal best and showing the potential to progress to elite level.
A delighted Mathews – a Gainsborough and Morton Strider – expressed his gratitude to those who had backed his efforts.
“The support I’ve been receiving, both here and back at home has been overwhelming,” he said following the race.
“It pretty much went to plan, except for a four-minute penalty on the bike.”
“But I still came in with 9.45, smashed it and loved it all.”
The G4S worker, who was sponsored by his employers for the trip to Hawaii, completed his first sprint triathlon in 2011 after a chance encounter with the London Triathlon sparked an interest in multi-discipline sport.
His Ironman debut in Bolton on 4th August saw him finish 42nd out of 1,600 competitors, fifth in his age group.
In preparation for the conditions he was expecting to face in Kona, he moved his turbo trainer bike into his conservatory, with a heater next to him.