A marathon effort

June 21, 2017

One foot in front of the other: Adrian Hayward tackles the marathon component.

Greeting the crowd: Adrian on the bike leg of the Ironman.

After 226 gruelling kilometres riding, running and swimming in northern Queensland, Cobram’s Adrian Hayward has completed an epic feat in the name of a very special cause.

Aiming to raise awareness of, and fundraise for, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and River’s Gift, Mr Hayward tackled the Cairns Ironman under the banner of Ironman for Noah on Sunday, June 11.

He completed the 3.8km swim in one hour and 20 minutes, the 180km bike ride in five hours and 58 minutes and the 42.2km run in four hours and 35 minutes.

With transition time, he completed the 226km in 12 hours and 11 minutes.

He was the 46th male to finish in his category (male, 50 to 54-year-old) and overall, placed 541st from 1247 competitors.

Mr Hayward said he was really happy with his time, especially as he’d originally hoped to come in under 14 hours.

‘‘On the day, the sea was a little choppy and I was hoping to complete the swim in an hour-and-a-half, which is what my training schedule was indicating I could do it in,’’ he said.

‘‘When I started the swim, the current was against me to start with, but on the return after completing 1.9km, I was swimming with current and gained time.

‘‘Everything just fell into place. I got onto the bike looking to do it in 6.5 hours and on the day, the bike just went really well through the event, I stayed consistent with time all the way through and the hill climbs weren’t as daunting as they were in my own mind.

‘‘I got to the 32km mark and my left hamstring tightened up a bit and I thought I’d slow my pace and come home not limping.

‘‘I looked up at the time on the finishing line and saw 12 hours, and I was taken aback by it, I thought 14 hours was where I’d be, but to achieve that I couldn’t have asked for a better result.

‘‘The support of the crowd and all my family there, wife and kids, the adrenaline kicking in; helped me to keep going and get over the finish line.’’

Mr Hayward said while he was looking to maintain his fitness with riding and running, he wasn’t looking to tackle an Ironman again any time soon.

‘‘Doing an Ironman, I learned, is quite a selfish thing to do — your family support is a big part in being able to do training,’’ he said.

‘‘I love my wife dearly and thank her for giving me that option and the support, at this stage I’d never say never but it’s not at the top of my list.

‘‘If anyone has never done something like this it is an experience, I would recommend it but you’ve got to take all the other considerations like family, work, training, diet.’’

So far, the fundraising effort is at about $19000 with a few pledges still to come in, and Mr Hayward was hoping to hit the $20000 mark or higher.

‘‘It’s for a great cause. I cannot thank the community for their support, from everyone — I can’t thank them enough,’’ he said.

‘‘What we’ve done is to help put more emphasis and awareness of River’s Gift and SIDS.

‘‘If we’ve gone some way to help that research so we can stamp out SIDS, hopefully I’ve put my part into that.’’

●Donations are still being accepted online at:

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