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Staff member’s journey to achieving Ironman and the importance of encouraging others

Menna after the race drinking tea
The bike station
Menna at the finish line with crowds watching

‘Anything is possible’ and ‘yes you can’ are heartfelt words of encouragement by Coleg Sir Gâr regional Welsh language officer, Menna Jones, who completed an Ironman challenge last September.

Menna says she was never the sporty type at school and that she always felt uncomfortable in her own skin but following the life-changing experience of a marriage breakdown, she used fitness as a means to cope and to improve her mental health.

She started running at weekends and taking part in bootcamps and soon she was taking part in all kinds of challenges such as mud runs and survival of the fittest obstacle course runs.

Menna Jones said: “I just took to running and thoroughly enjoyed it, starting with a few 10Ks then lots of half marathons and then a full marathon.

“There were many challenges along the way as well as the biggest challenge of them all - juggling everything as a single, working mum.”

She did a second degree in sport and sports exercise science and learned how to swim properly and started cycling which sparked her interest in triathlon sports.

Menna Jones added: “Training was tough for Ironman where I was averaging roughly 15 hours a week as well as juggling family commitments, it was challenging but definitely doable.”

The Ironman challenge in Tenby, which is considered as one of hardest courses, consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile cycle route and 26.2 run and the cut-off time given is 17 hours and Menna completed it in 15.

She also had to tackle a rough sea and said that many people had to be pulled out by rescue boats. “Standing on the beach, I remember looking at the sea and thinking there is no way you are going to beat me, I’ve worked too hard for this,” she said.

Menna Jones added: “The Iron man slogan is ‘Anything is Possible’ and I truly believe that - if you work hard, focus, sacrifice and dedicate yourself to your goals.

“I hope my achievements will inspire my children, my friends and anyone who might be reading this and thinking ‘maybe I can do that’, I’d say, yes you can!”

Iron man logo with anything is possible

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