Wales Ironman- He Nailed It!

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I’m sure you know that September 17th was the big day, Wales Ironman 2016 and Chef absolutely nailed it! Thinking though, there’s a simple message here, you can do it. Whatever dream or ambition you carry, you have the power within you to make it happen.

Set a date, buy a ticket, next stop the moon.

I hope you find some inspiration and enjoyment in the photos from the Wales Ironman triathlon event in beautiful Tenby. We also have a Wales Travel blog page and a guide to Wales with kids on this site.

Wales Ironman 2016 Swim. Tenby North Beach
Just after sunrise, all the Ironman competitors in the water at last. It took 15 minutes to get them all started, some would still be in the water 2 hours later. But they all made a start and gave it their best shot.

We’re feeling a special mix of relief, pride and vacuum today.

Chef completed Ironman Wales Tenby in 11 and a half hours, an incredible day and the climax of a whole year of training.

There’s a huge investment in an Ironman race and it hits a family hard, not just the extreme hours of preparation but the extreme cost has made the Tenby event the main focus of this year. He said to me a year ago ” Just support me in this.” So he bought his entry ticket and I did my best to do just that.

I really don’t like it, it’s tough and dangerous, but we all got through and yesterday was worth it 1000 times over. I’ve never seen anything like the enthusiasm the people of Pembrokeshire dished out yesterday, nor the incredible crowds, the party atmosphere and the general warm welcome we’ve received in Wales.

As I looked around I saw people like me and a childhood dream of living in this lovely medieval harbour town was re-kindled. But that’s something to think about for a long time yet as we sort our other irons in the fire.

A sea of highfives in the walled medieval town of Tenby. Ironman Wales 2016 run.

We’re all really proud of our Ironman, he was first Australian to finish and around 300th out of over 2K ultra-fit competitors.

He’s quite some guy to have as a husband or dad and an amazing role model and inspiration for the kids. If dad can do that, surely nothing is impossible?

You can do something amazing too, he has neither super powers nor a vast fortune. He’s just a regular Chef following his dreams.

First lap of 4 on the Marathon. All smiles as he sees us again for the first time in hours.

So as the streets are reopened, the hangovers nursed and the marquees packed away, how do we move forward, how do we top this?

First we’ll enjoy the rest of our time in Wales.

We can have a holiday now and we’ll spend a few days doing just that before making our way back across Europe by car. But we have to have some future goal.

Back in 2012 we had the goal of travelling full time, we’ve done it. Then came special trips like trekking around Everest, that’s in the bag too. I always need to have something to be striving for and planning, because having a goal, no matter how crazy, is what makes life fun.

UPDATE: We’re  off to Thailand for Ironman Phuket in November! Watch this space.

The pros spend thousands on bikes, Chef got his on Ebay for under 200 quid. It did the job and he’s clearly enjoying the 112 mile ride! There were bloody accidents on the steep hills and narrow lanes and it’s the bike leg that I fear. At least in Wales I don’t have to worry about crocodiles!

What we know for sure is that without changing our lives around back in 2012 we wouldn’t be here today. Chef wouldn’t have had his amazing day in this beautiful country and beautiful town. We are forever happy that we made the choice to ditch normal and be who we truly are.

Ironman Wales 2016 in Tenby. What a day! Huge applause to all the competitors, you’re amazing and thanks Pembrokeshire for hosting a brilliantly organised and supported event.

What IS an Ironman and How to Enter

The photo below tells you what you need to know! There are no breaks and the course takes somewhere between 9 and 17 hours. If you go over 17 hours you’re out, if you take more than 2 hours 20 mins for the swim you’re out.


There is no qualification, anyone can enter, but do it soon, places sell out. A place will cost you around £400.

Contact Ironman Wales to apply. The event WILL be in Tenby again in 2017 but Cardiff are bidding for the race. I’m a Cardiff girl and I think that would be a great shame. The location here in Tenby is what makes this Ironman extra special.

Ironkids is held on the Saturday before the adult triathlon and is great fun for your little ones.

My son signing up for Ironkids. He nailed it too and will be back next year.

Where to Stay in Tenby for Wales Ironman

Tenby sells out fast for the Ironman period, so book well in advance. Expect prices to be high, you’ll find little under £50 a night. Some may argue that’s not high, it’s not for the UK, but for much of the world it is ($12/night in Thailand, $40 per night in the US, $30/night in Romania and so it goes) We found an apartment through AirBnb at Freshwater East, not too far away and with a sea view for just under that price. AirBnb will sell out too, book as soon as you can.

Tenby is full of guest houses and hotels, we suggest taking a look at

Also see our previous post about registering for Wales Ironman and the buzz in this gorgeous town for the big event. More post on Tenby, Pembrokeshire and nearby attractions, restaurants, beaches and hotels are to come

Dawn Tenby Harbour Ironman Wales 2016
We took our places overlooking the swim course around dawn. Chef was in the holding area near transition. The transition is huge in this event, a 1Km uphill run after the swim to find their bikes. Dawn Tenby Harbour Ironman Wales 2016
The first of the lifeguards head out to line the swim course. In previous years, in rough seas, dozens of competitors have failed on the swm and had to be rescued. This year the sea was perfect.
start of the swim Wales Ironman
It starts. Pro men first, a minute later pro women. Then the age groupers file into the sea, roughly ordered by swimming ability. Chef was in the 1 hour 5 minutes group, near the front of a 15 minute procession from beach to water.
lap 2 tenby beach tri
After lap 1 of the swim course, athletes race up the beach for lap 2.
Suporters Tenby Ironman
He swears the aroma of beer and hot dogs helped him keep going!

Triathlon really isn’t a sport where you can support your competitor all day, we only sighted our Ironman from time to time.

We were there as he raced up the red carpet to thunderous applause, flashing lights and thumping music but it all happened so fast, no warning, no pictures. After a quick medical check over, we eventually caught him after the finish.

For you, for Pinterest

Tenby for Wales Ironman

You Can Access the other “Living Differently” Posts Here

A series in which we try to explain how we managed to change our lives around to travel full time and support ourselves financially, to help you live more too!

Living Differently: The Secrets

Living Differently: Uncertainties, Stories and Bookings

Living Differently: Owning Less Living More

Living Differently: Make Your First $1000 from Amazon Affiliates

Living Differently: Owning Less Clothes and Dumpster Diving

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

9 thoughts on “Wales Ironman- He Nailed It!”

  1. I just started reading your blog, I think it´s amazing!! Congratulations!!
    One question, how does Chef keep on training while you’re traveling? On every Ironman event, does he buy a new bike or does he just rent one?

    • He carries it with him when he is in training. It’s a complete nightmare! Sometimes he leaves it in airport left luggage or in storage. It’s not with us right now in the Himalayas, it’s stashed in the UK. But he’s taken it all over Europe and South East Asia. When we get back to Australia in December he has another one there. He doesn’t buy the $10,000 ones, he generally gets quite cheap ones. It’s the legs that matter more than the bike.

  2. I love it! Congrats to Chef and Boo, just goes to show what you can achieve when you just take a chance on your dream and work hard. I’m excited to see you over here in Thailand again 🙂

  3. Wow. Congrats to chef, that’s a huge accomplishment.

    I like the look of the new blog so far.

  4. Congratulations James! What an amazing experience for the entire family.

    • Yes, it was Deanne. Amazing that you’re the only one who took the time to comment, even out of all his family and friends. He’s amazing and it all comes from the ” I can do that.” attitude ( and a very tolerant wife and kids!). Thanks, as always.

    • OMG … I got your post just now ! (I don’t get them by mail anymore although I subscribed ages ago!) I can’t believe people do this kind of things and enjoy it. Chef doesn’t even look exhausted on the video. Well done, and congrats to the whole family for your support!

      • Cheers Talitha. That’s interesting, I’ve noticed that the spike has disappeared when I publish a post. I guess something is broken and I have no idea what. Yeah, it’s fun. He may be doing another one in November, Ironman Asia…there’s a clue!


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