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  • Northside West

Triumph of the Northside Ironman!

Thursday, 26th October, 2017 8:00am
Triumph of the Northside Ironman!

Ger takes a selfie after crossing the finish line.

Triumph of the Northside Ironman!

Ger takes a selfie after crossing the finish line.

THE local community in Ballymun is hailing a real local hero after he won a gruelling ultra endurance event in the UK earlier this month.

Fitness fanatic Ger Prendergast took part in the DecaUK Ironman triathlon, which involves a 3.8km swim, a 180km cycle and a full 26-mile marathon – every day for ten days!

It was Ger’s first attempt at such a testing event, and he wasn’t sure he could manage it, but Ballymun’s very own Ironman beat off all competition and crossed the line first with a combined time of 158:09:04.

Ger is always on the lookout for a challenge and says as soon as he heard about DecaUK he just knew he had to take it on.

“I can’t say exactly why but I wanted to sign up as soon as I read about it,” he said.

Family and friends weren’t as excited about Ger taking part as it’s a really punishing event but he was but he was determined to push on. 

With the help of Triathlon coach, Bjorn, he put together a training plan to fit around his work as a gym instructor and his family life.

He trained twice a day and made sure his diet contained the right nutrients to fuel training and recovery.

“The last couple of weeks leading up to the event were hard,” he said.

“I had spent a week in Lake Garda with my family and although I trained well, there was still a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that the prep was not ideal.

“I think with an event like this, you’ll always have those feelings of doubt, then confidence and they’ll keep changing on an hourly basis sometimes.”

Ger started DecaUK slowly and while pleased to compete the first two triathlons he was in last place and felt strong enough to push his body more.

With the help of his crew, he changed strategy and moved up the field over the next few days and found himself leading the pack.

On day seven, he began to struggle as his quads started to buckle under the pressure but he kept going and on the last day he flew through the swim, cycle and run and came in first.

“Crossing the finish line was the best feeling in my sporting life,” he said. “It’s simply indescribable. Some of my support crew were there, some of my family and friends were there and my wife and kids were there too.

“We recorded a Facebook live video for the finish for the community of Ballymun watching back home. The support I was getting was phenomenal and so many people had tuned into the live video as well as the daily VLOGs I was putting up on my Facebook page.”

Last week Ger was still buzzing from the event, even though he was in recovery mode.

“It’s just tiredness really, I’d say I’ll be back to myself in a couple of weeks,” he told Northside People.

“The support was amazing. You only really see it when you come home because during the event it’s hard to concentrate on anything else.

“I saw a couple of messages and the guys were telling me there was loads of people sharing videos and that but I only really got to see it when I got home. It really was overwhelming. Just brilliant.”

Ger is also very grateful to locals who raised over €1,500 to help pay for some of the €7,000 costs of taking part in DecaUK.

Ger is a gym instructor working out of a community gym in Trinity Comprehensive. He specialises in bootcamp classes and can be found by searching J.r. Bootcamp on Facebook.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here