Gruelling Ironman bid is no sunshine holiday for Matt

Matt Mancini who is doing Ironman Lanzarote ANL-150402-102215001
Matt Mancini who is doing Ironman Lanzarote ANL-150402-102215001
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Ultimate test . . . Matt Mancini, director of the Racing Centre is tackle Ironman Lanzarote in May. Picture Geoffrey Pieters. MNJP-03-02-15 GP 003.

While for most a trip to the Canary Islands means a time to kick back, relax and soak up the sun, for Matt, who is the director of the Racing Centre in Newmarket, that will not be the case – instead he is tackling this year’s Ironman Lanzarote challenge.

Although this will be Matt’s first attempt at what is perceived as the ultimate test of fitness, it is something that has been on the agenda for some time.

“To be honest, I have always been quite sporty as when I was a kid I was county cross country champion and I have always played a lot of football, and when I took this job on it saw me riding out again,” said Matt, who is 36 tomorrow.

“After running the London Marathon in 2013 I wanted to get my marathon time down. Since then I have done three more marathons, then last year I embarked on doing a year of triathlons last year.

“The Ironman challenge has been on the radar for about two years and, having worked my way up through the different triathlon distances, I saw this as a good opportunity to tick off a personal goal.”

Despite there being plenty of other Ironman events closer to home, it was the tackling the demanding course on the volcanic island which appealed most of all to Matt.

“The Lanzarote Ironman is known as one of the toughest ones going, with plenty of really high bike climbs. The whole point of doing this is to be challenged, so this fitted perfectly,” said Matt.

“I have been cranking up the training since Christmas, doing about 12 hours a week, but as that gets closer I will do about 16 to 18 hours a week.

“The training I have been doing has focused on my aerobic zone, which is ideal for lengthy endurance training to ensure that I am physically ready.”

As far as goals go Matt, who will be running in aid of the Racing Centre, has already set himself a time barrier he would like to beat and a financial target he hopes to achieve, while contesting the 2.4-mile sea swim, 112-mile cycle ride, and 26.1 mile run.

“You have got to complete the race in under 17 hours to get officially recognised as completing the race, but I am hoping to finish somewhere around the 14-hour mark,” said Matt.

“The new facilities here at the Racing Centre cost £600,000 and a lot of help was given by various bodies connected with racing.

“I would like to contribute my bit by trying to raise £3,500.

“I have waited until pushing for sponsors until the end of January to help people get over Christmas.

“Although it is not a massive target to reach, it is a realistic one.

To sponsor Matt in his Ironman challenge search his name at www.justgiving.com.