Airedale business-unit manager is an Ironman

Published:  20 October, 2008

Mark Dowell, business unit manager with Airedale, is officially an Ironman after a gruelling feat of endurance during a day in Zurich that saw him complete a swim of 2.4 miles, bike race of 112 miles and run of 26.2 miles in 12 hours 8 minutes — in pouring rain.

Floating in Lake Zurich at 7 am with 2200 other athletes and helicopters hovering overhead was the start to an epic day for him.

Mark Dowell is responsible for the manufacture of close-control air-conditioning products, including a fast-track EasiCool line. He says, ‘Triathlon swim starts can be frantic, but I managed to avoid any issues. The swim went well, and I exited the water after 1 h 23 min and in 1656th position.

The bike course included 5000 ft of climbs. Over the 112 miles, he pulled back 374 places to finish the ride in 1282nd position.

He continues, ‘Then it was back to the transition area to rack the bike and swap into running shoes. My legs felt very heavy at this point — not a good starting point for my first-ever marathon. I ran well for two laps (13 miles), but by the last lap, it was tough going. Every muscle in my legs was screaming at me to stop and after being on the go for 12 hours, your mind starts to agree with them, too.

‘The finishers’ corridor was amazing — hundreds of people shouting at you as you cross the line. Although I had felt slow on the run, I had still made up another 206 place to finish 1076 overall, after burning off 10 500 Calories.’

He trained for nine months at an average of 11 h a week, peaking at 14 h a week. He had been doing shorter-distance triathlons for four years, prompting him to wonder if he could do an Ironman. ‘Would I do another? Definitely I would, yes!’



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