Iron Man Chris’s heart of gold

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A Mansfield Woodhouse man has battled his way through an iron man competition to raise money in memory of his father-in-law.

Chris James undertook the arduous Iron Man Wales event - which involves a 2.4-mile sea swim, 112-mile bike ride and a full marathon - for Homelessness charity Framework.

The 32-year-old, of Sherwood Rise, Mansfield Woodhouse, said: “My father-in-law was really into marathons and fitness and it inspired us to be fitter, but unfortunately towards the end of his life he developed an alcohol issue and some mental health issues.

“Framework supported him in a way we could not and I do not think they realise how much it meant to us.

“I only expected to raise a couple of hundred pounds at the time but I have managed to raise £1,200.”

The Iron Man was held in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, and had to be completed within 17 hours. Father-to-be Chris completed it in 15.5.

The race starts at North Beach for the swim followed by the bike ride, which winds through the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, passing castles and other landmarks, finishing with the run.

“It blew my mind,” said Chris. “There were thousands of spectators on the course and in the town. The level of support from the people of Tenby was incredible.

“I have trained for nearly a year for it so I was a lot fitter than I thought I was. The hardest thing was getting the nutrition right.

“It started at 7am and halfway through all I wanted was a cheese and pickle sandwich.

“It is the hardest thing I have ever done - you are taking your body to the edge.”

This was Chris’ third triathlon and the Woodhouse man said he would do it again in a flash if his wife were not expecting in February.

If you would like to make a Framework donation in honour of Chris’ efforts visit