A TALENTED athlete has revealed the massive £5,000 yearly cost of competing in the sport he loves.
Gary Wilson, 35, raises that amount each year to compete in triathlons and Iron Man challenges around the world, including the toughest race in the world in Lanzarote.
But the Hartlepool dad-of-two admits he does it because he has “a love of all things hard. It’s what gets me out of bed first thing in a morning”.
Gary has two jobs – as a youth offending worker with Hartlepool Borough Council as well as a youth worker at the Belle Vue Youth Centre – to fund the sport he loves.
He is also husband to Vicki, 33, a support tutor at Hartlepool College of Further Education, and dad to Chloe, 16, and Leonie, aged seven.
On top of all that, he does an hour’s training before work, another hour after work, and trains hard on a weekend.
He does it to compete in events such as the Lanzarote Iron Man Triathlon. The challenge involves a 2.5-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a 26 mile marathon.
Gary told the Mail: “To race internationally, I have to raise money but having two jobs gives me the cushion to do it. I love what I do. It’s just a question of getting the right balance between work, home life and training.”
Gary is no stranger to success. He took bronze in the 2011 sprint triathlon in Pontevedra in Spain, a mere 750- metre swim, 15-mile bike ride and three-mile run.
The member of the Hartlepool Triathlon Club also came third in the TT Triathlon, in the Isle of Man, earlier this year. And he has qualified for the finals of the Aquathlon World Championships.
Gary will be hoping to pick up a new honour – without setting foot on the roads. He is the latest entrant in the Hartlepool Mail Sports Awards.
He said: “It’s flattering to be nominated when there is a wealth of sporting talent in Hartlepool.”
We want to hear from even more people willing to put forward nominations.
There are 13 categories:
Team of the Year
Sportsperson Special Achievement Award
Disabled Sports Person
Disabled Team of the Year
Contribution to Disability Sports Award
Coach of the Year Award
Unsung Hero Award or Volunteer/Young Leader
Club of the Year Award
Sports Personality of the Year Award
Young Sports Personality of the Year Award
To nominate, fill in the form HERE.