Tough Test For 'Iron Team'
2 November 2015
A team of Costain Ironmen and one Ironwoman has successfully tackled one of the world’s toughest endurance events to raise an amazing £10,000 for the Costain 150 Challenge.*
Tim Bowen, Group Corporate Development Director; Tracey Wood, Group Legal Director and Company Secretary; Matt Crabtree, Programme Director in the Natural Resources Division; Stephan van Brummelen, Framework MEICA Manager for Severn Trent and Steve Butler, Commercial Director for the Power Sector have all completed the Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote.
Called the 70.3 because of the total distance in miles (113km) covered in the race, the event began with a 1.9km swim around a salt water lagoon, followed by a 90km cycle ride through mountainous terrain, and concluded with a 21.1km half marathon.
For Matt the hardest part was undoubtedly the swim: “I had to learn to swim front crawl for the Ironman and when nervous am not good at swimming in a straight line. In fact I swam an extra half a kilometre and was worried that I might miss the 70 minute deadline but in fact did the swim in 50 minutes despite my zigzag course!”
Already a keen cyclist, he found the cycle stage the easiest – despite its 10km climb. “As I got to the top of the hill I got a real surge of adrenalin and had to remind myself that there was still a half-marathon to go. The run was hard and hot – temperatures by now were in the low 30s – but in the end I managed it in a time of 2 hours 13 minutes and achieved an overall time of 7 hours 3 minutes, which had a pleasing symmetry with the name of the event.”
Stephan too found the swim tough: “It was very congested and very physical – there was a lot of kicking and grabbing. Despite that my swim time of 34 minutes wasn’t far off what I was aiming for. I enjoyed the cycle stage the most, I made up a lot of places on the bike and that was easily the most satisfying part of the event for me. The hardest part however was the run – the wind that had been ever present up till then dropped and it was very hot, and I needed all my mental strength. Though I could have run it a bit faster if I hadn’t slowed down so that my younger brother Antoine and I could cross the finish line together! I did the whole event in just under 5 hours 20 minutes which was pretty much where I was hoping to be.”
Both say the Costain 150 Challenge was a real motivator – both during the months of training and the event itself.
Said Matt: “During the tough moments en route I focussed on why I was there: to raise vital funds for four amazing charities that positively impact the lives of thousands of people every day.”
Stephan agreed: “Raising money for the four charities has been a real driving force for me, with one of the charities – Macmillan – particularly close to my heart. I’d like to thank everyone who sponsored the team and supported us through this challenge.”
*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