The Toughest Ironman in the World

Dave on Skokholm after Swimming there from the Mainland

Dave on Skokholm after Swimming there from the Mainland

Dave Astins, photo by Pembrokeshire Photos

Dave Astins, photo by Pembrokeshire Photos

Dave Astins, a volunteer, supporter and friend of The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, has taken on the mammoth commitment of participating in the 2016 Ironman Wales. Said to be the most challenging Ironman course in the World, Dave will swim, cycle and run to raise some much needed funds for The Trust!

On Sunday 18th September Dave will compete in Ironman Wales in Tenby, his first ever Ironman distance event despite having been taking part in triathlons since 1994! Previously Dave has completed 4 half Iron-distance events but never tackled the 'big one' -- until now.

Ironman Wales is a well established event and has the reputation for having one of the most challenging bike and running courses in the entire Ironman calendar. Tenby’s North Beach provides possibly the most spectacular location of any other Ironman event for the first discipline, the swim in the pristine waters of Carmarthen Bay. Dave will swim a challenging 2.4 miles before making his way to a bike where he will cycle 112 miles through the beautiful countryside of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, passing stunning castles and iconic landmarks on his journey. After all of this, Dave will then have to finish by completing a marathon and run 26.2 miles through Tenby’s medieval town walls and picturesque beachfront.

This isn’t the first event that Dave has shown the Trust tremendous support for by raising funds. In 2014 Dave swam a choppy 2.5 miles from Marloes Sands on the mainland, to the beautiful Skokholm Island. This year he hopes to raise a further £2260 for participating in Ironman Wales, £10 for every kilometer he covers! The funds raised from this will help contribute to the vital conservation work that is currently being done on both Skomer and Skokholm islands.

When asked about the Ironman Dave said "I am supporting the Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales as I have had a long association with them as a member and occasional volunteer. I decided to take on Ironman Wales this year because my wife was really keen to do it, and if I didn't, I would hardly ever see her!  And once the entry went in, I thought it would be a great idea to raise money for WTSWW.”

Dave’s training is intense and a slow process, but he has a history of similar events to stand him in good stead for an Ironman challenge. When asked about his training Dave replied; "Training started in earnest at the end of 2015, and so far this year I have completed the Llanelli Marathon, a Half Iron-distance event in Burry Port, a couple of shorter triathlons, a 100 mile bike race and a number of running events and time trials.  The hardest 2 months lay ahead of me though!"

Rebecca Vincent, Communications Officer for The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales said; “We are delighted that Dave is once again raising vital funds for the Trust, and we can’t thank him enough for his support towards our work. The funds raised from Dave’s Ironman Wales Challenge will help our beautiful Pembrokeshire islands, Skomer and Skokholm, continue to be a haven for British wildlife. Without support from people like Dave we wouldn’t be able to continually protect local wildlife as we do today.”

If you’d like to help Dave support the work of the Wildlife Trust then please visit the JustGiving page and donate to Dave’s cause here; https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Ironman4Wildlife. Any donation, large or small, will help the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales continue to carry out the vital conservation work they do on Skokholm and Skomer Islands.