An islander who rowed across the Atlantic last winter has now proved he is an ‘iron man’ after snatching third place in a "brutal" 56-hour non-stop triathlon event in Snowdonia.
Steve Hayes and Pete Wright, known together as DragonFish Row, set off on the Talisker Whiskey Challenge in December 2022 to fundraise for Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support.
It took them almost eight weeks to row the width of the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands to Antigua – a journey of over 3,000 miles.
Steve (42), the manager of the Somerville Hotel, is a regular participant in endurance challenges, and decided that 3,000 miles was not enough for him.
Now, he has just completed The Brutal Extreme Triathlon, dubbed "one of the world's toughest triathlons".
The length of a triple Iron Man, it starts with a 12k swim in Lake Padarn, followed by a 540km bike ride, and topped off with a 120km run up and down Wales's highest mountain, Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon).
Pictured: Steve completing the 12k swim leg in a "very cold lake".
The challenge took 56 hours – during which Steve took two breaks: one of 15 minutes, and one of 30 minutes.
"It was really tough," he told Express. "I've done one of these before on a flat course, but this was a completely different ball game.
"There was 10,000m of vertical ascent on the bike and 3,000m on the run."
High temperatures for the weekend meant it was "pretty warm", Steve said, with temperatures not dropping below 20 degrees even at night.
He said: "Lots of things draw me to challenges like this. It's a mental and physical test, to see what your body and mind are capable of achieving.
"I think becoming comfortable with feeling uncomfortable is a good thing for humans. It's good that we put ourselves way out of our comfort zones where we have to dig deep and teach ourselves about perseverance, mental fortitude, staying positive, and breaking things down into manageable, bite-sized chunks.
"Once you surround yourself with like-minded people, you go down a rabbit hole with extreme endurance events and meet some really inspiring people."
Pictured: Then it was onto the bike...
As well as coming first in his age group, Steve came third overall. He mentioned that the two entrants finishing in front of him had "teams of about seven people with them", whereas he "didn't have any of that".
So, what's next?
"I need to think of something fairly soon," Steve laughed. "Otherwise I'll just go down to the pub and get unhealthy.
"I'm considering the Channel Islands 100k in November, plus some other ultra marathons this winter."
DragonFish Row teammate, Pete Wright took to social media to congratulate Steve on his achievement, saying he was "very proud of my good mate, and massive legend".
"A podium finish secured and 1st for his age group. 56-hours nonstop, and I suspect barely any sleep," he added.
Pictured top: Steve completing The Brutal Extreme Triathlon challenge.
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