Local Couple Racing IRONMAN
Good sport Nicola Coates will be joining her husband, Carlton, in the challenge of a lifetime when they compete in the IRONMAN Wales event on Sunday 16th September.
IRONMAN Wales is hosted by their home town of Tenby and last September, Nicola was amongst the crowds encouraging the contestants in the first IRONMAN Wales event. She saved a special cheer for her husband Carlton and his fellow cycling club members from Tenby Aces but this year, 48-year-old Nicola will be there amongst more than 1,500 athletes swimming, cycling and running their way to the IRONMAN finish line.
“I’ve entered because I was inspired by the whole event,” said Nicola, who is head receptionist at Tenby’s Giltar Hotel. “After meeting IRONMAN competitors staying with us at the hotel who had travelled from all over the world, listening to stories of how their day had gone and hearing so many times how lucky we are to have this wonderful event on our doorstep, I and a friend, Janina Evans, took the plunge and signed on for 2012. We both said we just couldn’t stand on the roadside and watch!”
Nicola is no stranger to the stringent pre-event schedule necessary for Ironman contestants, as she had joined Carlton, also 48, in some of his training rides and swims last year.
“We met such lovely people, who would also join us for their training and have now become friends and honorary Tenbyites,” she said. “Now we’re getting ready for our first sea swim on May 1st, and are upping our running and cycling mileage. There are quite a few other ‘virgin Ironmen’ taking part from the Aces, as well as my brothers-in-law, Paul Slack and Ian Vickery, who are doing it for the second time”
The winter has also seen Carlton powering his way up and down Tenby’s swimming pool, under the expert eye of Tenby’s own Ironman hero, Oliver Simon, who was first out of the water in last year’s Ironman Wales and went on to finish in the top three in the UK.
Nicola and Carlton – who both worked in Malta as scuba diving instructors for ten years – are now heading to Majorca on April 16th for a week-long cycling training camp with other members of the Aces. “This will hopefully set us up for the summer,” said Nicola. “By the time it gets to September, we should be raring to go!”