Head of Expressive Arts becomes an Ironman

A musician took up the challenge when he was presented with an invitation to take part in an Ironman competition.

Kevin Gibbs, who is Head of Expressive Arts at Haslingden High School is no stranger to the brass band world having played for Black Dyke and Brighouse and Rastrick, and he even played with the Stocksbridge Band in the hit film ‘The Full Monty’.

His latest challenge saw him taking up a new hobby and he finished the Bolton Ironman in 14-and-a-half hours, well within the 17 hour time limit.

The father-of-two said: “I live in Bolton and for the last six years I have gone to watch the Ironman.

“My wife Sarah bought me entry to the competition for my 40th birthday in January and I have been in training ever since, before school and after school.

“I have been getting up at 6am and swimming a couple of miles, including open water swimming in Pennington Flash Country Park in Leigh, which is where the swimming part of the Ironman was held.

“I have also been running a half marathon every Saturday morning.”

The challenge involved swimming 2.4 miles in open water, followed by a 112 mile bike ride and finishing off with a marathon.

And like all ironmen, he has completed the second part of the challenge and now has the logo tattooed onto his leg.

Mr Gibbs has also been bitten by the bug and has already completed the Tour de Bolton 60 mile cycle race, conquered Mount Snowden, ran the Bolton half marathon and has a further half marathon planned next month.

He said: “It has given me so much confidence and I feel I can tackle anything. The students have been really impressed.”