Hawaii to prove no holiday as Lincsquad duo realise dream
Mention the word Hawaii and most people's thoughts turn to holidays and relaxing on a beach.
For two Lincsquad members however, Hawaii means hard work.
The Polynesian island's beauty will next year unleash its brutality.
Steve Clark and Robbie Whitaker have qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Kona next year.
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For both, it marked the realisation of a dream as they achieved the result they needed in Ironman Wales.
Whitaker, from Great Limber, finished first in his 18-24 age group, while Bottesford's Clark was fifth in the 25-29 section.
For the latter, qualification eased the pain of two broken ribs suffered in the process and was the perfect way to make it up to his wife, Emily, for a quick dash down the country.
"Ever since missing out on Kona (qualification) in Austria I have become obsessed with it and Emily will tell you I have probably mentioned it every day since, even on our holiday," said Clark.
"I have to thank her as we were at a friend's wedding on the Friday before the race with a room booked for the Friday night.
"Obviously, if I was doing Wales I had to get out of this. After a little heated discussion, she finally understood I had to enter and I'd be leaving the wedding at 5pm to head to Wales on the Friday."
Ironman is made up of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a marathon to finish.
Clark bagged a personal best time of 53 minutes 34 seconds in the swim, but crashed on the bike leg.
"It was going really well and I was actually second in my age group at one point, but then after 66 miles... disaster," he said.
"I totally overcooked it on a twisty downhill section, back wheel slipped out and I was over the handlebars thinking the race is over."
He finished the bike section in a time of five hours 37 minutes, but soon made up for it in the run, recording a personal best of 2.58.
It meant he finished in a total time of 9.40.43, finishing 24th overall.
"If i didn't crash I honestly think I'd have come second in my age group.
"My run totally saved my race," he said.
"I'd like to thank North Lincolnshire Council for my sports grant this year as they have let me use The Pods for free."
Steve is currently looking for sponsorship for the trip to Kona. Contact him on 07763 602386.