MARK EDWARDS - from couch potato to six-time Iron Man!

Mark Edwards enjoying the bike rideWhen Mark Edwards readily agreed to be main sponsor of  a decade ago he was a self-confessed couch potato whose work at his Eddie's Night Club in Haverfordwest meant he had little time for physical exercise.

But a chance encounter with a push bike changed all that and in the last two years  he has successfully completed SIX 'Iron Man' competitions as far afield at Copenhagen, Texas and, of course, Tenby!

Super Six for 2019

Not content with that little lot, however, he has plans in 2019 to compete in an amazing SIX ‘Iron Man’ events in the year.

These will start in Johannesburg, South Africa, next April, followed by Cork, Southern Ireland in June, and then nearer to home at Bolton to reach the half-way stage.  From there it’s on to Copenhagen, Tenby and an exciting finish in Texas before an extra ‘treat’ of entry to the ‘Rock and Roll Marathon’ in the gambling haunt of Las Vegas as a reward!

Chance start to exercise

Mark began his exercising purely by chance as he and wife Angela were volunteers to drive the support bus when a group of Pembrokeshire fund raisers organised a ‘Pembrokeshire to Paris’ challenge in aid of the Paul Sartori Fund – and when they stopped the first night at Cardiff (West) he asked if he could try his luck on the spare bike.

His pal Graham Williams acted as his mentor and although it was tough going at first Mark Eventually completed the rest of the ride and was thrilled to ride in with the team as they rode up the Champs Elysees to the Eiffel Tower!

Mark was well and truly hooked and since then has been increasing the intensity of his training sessions until the present time, when he exercises most days and when we spoke to him he had been up at 7pm for a 14-mile round- trip run to Broad Haven!


Mark Edwards gives the thumbs upSwimming proved a huge challenge

When he decided he wanted to test himself at the Iron Man Wales event in 2016 there was one problem – he was a hopeless swimmer and so he recruited the help of Claire Davies, who did a brilliant job as she quickly developed his stroke power in very regular training sessions.

“It was really tough at first but I was soon enjoying it,” admitted Mark, “and after nine months I was swimming in the open sea at Broad Haven and Tenby, and it was great when I knew I was able to swim the required 2.4 miles in a wet suit.

“But I still wasn’t prepared for the actual swim because there were so many arms and legs each side and even above me that it was like being in a giant tumble drier as I was elbowed out of the way, kicked and jostled – all quite accidental of course as people just wanted to get passed me!”

Then he cycled 112 miles in 6 hours 42 minutes and ran his marathon in 4 hours 47 minutes so that with transition times he finished with a cracking time of 13 hours 37 minutes.

Busy 2017 – and even busier this year

His 2017 exploits started with the Wales Marathon in Llanelli followed by participation by the Frankfurt Iron Man in Germany, the Irish Half Iron Man (known as the 70/30 competition in Dublin) and then back to Tenby for his second local challenge, which he completed in 14 hours and 40 minutes.

You are a Iron Man Mark EdwardsThat leads us neatly into 2018 where he undertook the Texas Iron Man, the Copenhagen event and then Tenby to complete his Wales Iron Man hat-trick in 12 hours 55 minutes.

“I was thrilled with that time on a difficult course and Copenhagen was tough in a different way because although it was a much flatter course it was run in extremely hot conditions of almost 34 degrees.”

And finally . . .

“I have been very lucky to have such great support from Angela, our family and friends,” said Mark, “and now I’m settling down to make sure I am very fit in readiness for my 2019 challenge to help our local Downes Syndrome group.”

He jokingly says that all this hard work is simply part of his getting over his ‘mid-life crisis’ and has certainly moved him as far away from his previously easy approach to life outside work and there’s one thing for sure – we are very proud to be associated with a super-fit Mark Edwards who is anything but a couch potato now!