Lostock Hall grandad shows age is no barrier as he takes on various Ironman-inspired triathlons and challenges

Ryan Beardsworth running in the Lakesman Half Ironman Race
Ryan Beardsworth running in the Lakesman Half Ironman Race
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At the age of 58, Ryan Beardsworth thinks doing an Ironman challenge is ‘normal.’

He says: “Other people think it is a bit mad, but it is like playing football very Sunday.”

Ryan Beardsworth swimming in the Lakesman Half Ironman Race

Ryan Beardsworth swimming in the Lakesman Half Ironman Race

The grandfather-of-five from Lostock Hall completed his first Ironman challenge in Bolton last year and is ready to take on his second, which takes place on Sunday.

The challenge involves doing a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run.
His competitive streak has steadily developed as he enjoyed being active and says it helps him in his job working at a children’s home in Lancashire.

He says: “It has been a progression over 10 years.
“I have to be fit for the activities we do at the children’s home and so I started getting back into running and I progressed with fell running, distance, sprint and triathlons.

“I am not a good swimmer but I had the mindset that I would get through it. I did a few triathlons across Lancashire and I went on to do Olympic distance in Southport.
“I then did half Ironman and it went further and further.
“You can’t just go out and do it. It takes a lot of serious training and commitment. My body is trained to take that sort of punishment.

Ryan Beardsworth at last years Ironman in Bolton

Ryan Beardsworth at last years Ironman in Bolton

“It is tough. Last year I was swimming 100m at Pennington Flash in Leigh and I had to grab hold of a canoe straight away. My heart rate was through the roof. I had swallowed a lot of water and had been knocked in the back by another swimmer.
“I had a little panic attack and though ‘I can’t do this,’ but I knew I was going to do it. I got hold of the canoe and I started breathing out and I began to swim.”

Ryan believes his age should not stop him and is ready to take on other extreme physical events.

He says: “I like pushing my body and seeing what it can do at 58. People say they can’t run because their knees hurt but your body adapts. It is a brilliant thing.
“I have done more in my 50s than in my 20s.
“It is all about the right approach and seeing what your body can do. I am slightly deaf; my eyes are not brilliant and I am a terrible swimmer but my body can still get through it.

“I will carry on doing it for the next couple of years. I will do a Lakesman Half Ironman race again, but my family have told me I can’t do a full Ironman because it does affect them. You need to follow a training plan and it gets harder and harder. You end up training six days a week and doing 15 hours.”

Ryan Beardsworth cycling in the Southport Olympic Distance Triathlon

Ryan Beardsworth cycling in the Southport Olympic Distance Triathlon