Three firefighters who pushed their bodies to the limit in a mammoth physical challenge have marked the occasion with matching tattoos.
After months of training, brothers Chris and Kevin Horner along with friend Sammie Stuart entered Ironman UK in Bolton seeing the group swim more than two miles, bike 112 miles and finish off with a 26 mile run.
“It’s one of the hardest things you can put your body through,” 42-year-old Chris said. “It pushes you to the limit but that’s why I like doing it.”
The watch manager at Garstang Fire Station is something of a veteran of the competition with this year being the third time he’s completed the course and it was him who convinced his colleagues to join him.
With a limit of 17 hours to complete the race, Chris, Kevin, 39, and Sammie, 25, climbed more than 7,000 feet before taking part in the “unwritten rule” of getting an Iron Man tattoo.
“It’s something most people who complete the race seem to get,” said Chris, who is a duathlon athlete for Great Britain. “Because it is something that is so difficult I think people like to get something to show they’ve completed it.”
The tattoo, which is an ‘M’ with a dot above it, represents the hard work and dedication it takes to do the race, says Chris.
Sammie’s tattoo, has a slight difference, with wings attached to the traditional design in tribute to a family member who died.
And when asked if he’d be taking part in the race for a fourth time, Chris said his other commitments will have to come first.
“I may have to just do a half Iron man because I’ll be racing in the World Championships for Great Britain,” he said. “I was 15th in the world for my age group so I’d like to try and better that next year.”