Ironman Challenge For Costain
17 September 2015
Costain is entering a team in the lung-busting Ironman 70.3 triathlon event in Lanzarote, with all proceeds going to the *150 Challenge.
The team comprises Tim Bowen, Group Corporate Development Director and Tracey Wood, Group Legal Director and Company Secretary, both fresh from their conquest of Mont Blanc, together with Matt Crabtree, Programme Director in the Natural Resources Division, Stephan van Brummelen, Framework Manager for Severn Trent and Steve Butler, Commercial Director for the Power Sector.
The "70.3" refers to the total distance in miles (113.0 km) covered in the race. Now in its fifth year, the event on September 19 begins with two laps of the salt water lagoon at Club La Santa, which is 1.9km with a 70 minute deadline. Next up is a 90km cycle ride over some of Lanzarote's spectacular terrain, including the famous 10km climb of Tabayesco, before returning to Club La Santa for the final section, a 21.1km half marathon.
Each distance of the swim, bike and run is half the distance of each segment in an Ironman triathlon, but if you think it’s just a leisurely sojourn around the volcanic island, then you need to think again.
Average daytime temperatures reach 25c but can be as high as 28c, which can be energy sapping. There’s also the added time pressure, with participants needing to complete the course in eight hours and 30 minutes. And finally, there’s the marked change in elevation during the cycle course, with hills climbing 3,500 feet above the Atlantic.
Everyone’s been training hard for it, not least Stephan van Brummelen who recently completed the 150 mile Coast-to-Coast cycle sportive from Seascale in the Western Lake District to Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast in just one day.
“Coming from a country that is 90% flat, our concept of a mountain would be classed as a hump over here, so hill climbing is an alien concept to me,” said Stephan.
This will be Tracey’s first Ironman 70.3 and although she enjoys participating in triathlons in the UK, the distances covered in the 70.3 means she’s been training a lot harder.
Tracey said: “I’ve been following a 16 week programme, where you train six days a week, sometimes twice a day. The closest I have done is an ‘Olympic’ distance which is a 1.5km swim, 42km bike and 10km run, but that was in the UK. With Lanzarote you have to deal with the heat, wind and the hills. The open water part is going to be a big challenge for me. I am very slow and often get overtaken by old ladies in training.”
When it comes to throwing yourself in at the deep end, Matt Crabtree isn’t looking forward to the open water section either: he only learnt how to swim the front crawl earlier this year.
Matt said: “In order to complete the Ironman successfully, I had to learn how to swim the front crawl, so I started in March. I entered the ‘Great North Swim’ at Lake Windermere in May but I was still breast stroking at the time. It was certainly the longest swim I’ve done since I was at school but I’m now more confident about swimming in the open water.”
Matt, who also completed his first half marathon in May, added: “At 54 years old, my biggest concern is picking up a niggling injury in the next few weeks that might reduce my capacity to perform. Either way, I don’t think the trophy engraver needs to worry how many ‘t’s there are in Matthew.”
To show your support and to view the team’s JustGiving pages, please click on the links below:
If you’d like to read about Stephan’s experiences training for the 70.3, then check out his blog by clicking here.
*The 150 Challenge commemorates Costain’s 150th anniversary and involves raising £1million in 2015 for the Costain Charitable Foundation’s four chosen charities – the British Heart Foundation, Macmillan Cancer Support, youth charity The Prince’s Trust and Samaritans.
Costain Communications Department