Because of Nick’s compelling story. He is a Type 1 Diabetic and a two time Cancer survivor who is trying to obtain a spot in the IronMan 70.3 World Championships, in South Africa in September 2018. At Halza, we believe that your health and the health of your family is what matters most. Supporting an athlete like Nick is a way to spread inspiration and motivation to the world, as well as to show the importance of communication and well-managed health records in everyone’s life.
A bit more on Nick’s inspiring story..
Nick grew up with the mindset of a champion – born on the Isle of Man, UK and playing football in his youth- He was diagnosed with T1 Diabetes when he was 14, leading to a chaotic medical journey, punctuated by a near-death experience when his condition turned into Diabetic Ketoacidosis.
Throughout his teenage years and early 20s he had many injuries including broken bones and hernias. In his mid-20s, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Thanks to chemotherapy and incredible mental strength, he fought and won the battle – twice.
He found in people in met along the road, as well as in his future wife, Philippa, the strength he needed to overcome any health challenge that came his way.
Funnily enough, it was his love story with Philippa that in the beginning, altered his fitness schedule: absorbed by his feelings for her and the wish to take her on dates every night, he gained some weight and neglected physical activity.
Luckily, he realized that he had to get back on track, and joined the Blue Collar Boxing Tournament while living in Dubai. This gave him back the taste for sports and intensive workouts, and he started to train as a triathlete. This is how he got to the IronMan challenges.
What is an Ironman 70.3?
Ironman 70.3 also known as the half Ironman, is a triathlon race organized by the World Triathlon Corporation consisting of a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run.
Nick has a full-time career but in his free moments, he trains and uses Halza to help him get a place in the highest level of the competition: the Ironman World Championships. To be able to compete there, he will need to get a qualification slot during one of the three IronMan 70.3 races he intends to complete during the season: Busselton, Australia, Dubai, UAE and Da Nang, Vietnam.
Busselton was the first IronMan 70.3 that Nick finished, and it took him 4 hours and 23. The swimming leg was canceled, as one of the race helicopters spotted a shark near the course. Looking back at the race, Nick said “It was a very positive experience after a very difficult year with illness, some overtraining fatigue and two races that I did not finish causing me to question if I was getting better, worse or coming to the end of my triathlon abilities. It is often during these times that we find out the most about ourselves. I was struggling with my confidence and Busselton was important for me to show myself that I was still as strong as I believed I was in the earlier part of the year and this is why I chose Busselton. I completed my Full Ironman 70.3 there. I remember nothing but positive memories, therefore what a fitting place to go back and rebuild myself from.”
Dubai’s IronMan races are known to attract some of the best athletes from around the world. Getting a qualification spot for the World Championships seemed unrealistic, so Nick decided to go for another objective: to help his wife Philippa cross the finishing line. It was her very first IronMan race, and to do this together was an added help.
Right after the race, we asked a few questions to Nick: “To compete, my greatest concern is always the swimming. The swim in the competition in Australia had been cancelled because of sharks. In Dubai, I could have done the swim faster as the tide was helping us. But it was like the perfect storm- the waves, the swell was so big- that you could not see anything at all- you could not see any of the buoys. There were 2200 people who started the swim but only 1622 finished it. Many people just gave up. The water was 22 degrees- you are focused on so many things that the cold was not even a factor.
I swam close to my wife to make sure that she was ok as this was her first competition – it was only her third time swimming like that in the ocean and for 52 minutes! How proud I am of her! We came out of the water as #1603 and #1604, really at the back of the pack. I made up a lot of time on the bike.” Nick completed the race in 5:08hrs and Philippa in 6 ½ hrs.
We asked Nick what were his objectives for Da Nang’s race: “ My goal is 4 hours 40 minutes. I know that I could have come in faster in Dubai if I would have swum by myself- possible 4 hours and 50 minutes. So I have to in the next race, come in 10 minutes faster than that!”
Do you want to follow Nick and watch him on his journey?
As Nick says “ “The support that I get really helps me go faster”