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Desk jockey to Ironman – job done

A huge sigh of relief was given from our very own James Kingston as he completed IronMan 70.3 on Sunday 11th September

James has spent the last 6 months up at the crack of dawn to get physically fit and ready for the huge task. James saw himself swimming 1.2 miles in Weymouth Bay followed by a 56 mile cycle through the Dorset countryside finished off with a 13.1 half marathon along the Weymouth Esplanade!

This humongous challenge was taken on to add to Kingston Barnes’s charity fundraising for Bristol Royal Hospital for Children which has now raised a whopping £7,778.56! Above & Beyond their target of £7500 to refurbish the sensory room which the funds will be used for.

We asked James 10 questions about the challenge;

1. Why do it?

I am just an ordinary person but I wanted to do something extraordinary, push myself further than I think I can go. It’s no different than when I set up Kingston Barnes in 2013, and now look what we have accomplished. Who would have thought that was possible? Seeing children fighting for their lives and the pain they go through day in day out puts it all in perspective. I wanted to do something that really pushed me, which hopefully inspires others and ultimately raise as much money as possible for a really great cause.

2. How was the experience on the day?

3000 people plus supporters all gearing up for one of the biggest challenges ever, you cannot explain the feeling and sheer awe of IronMan. The atmosphere was electric!


3. Were you nervous?

Yes definitely! The night before I was getting some pre IronMan jitters but keeping a positive, winning attitude makes such a difference. I knew I was physically ready, but mentally if I let doubt or quitting enter my mind it may have been a different story. Visualising crossing the line standing was in the forefront of my mind.

4. Were you ready?

I have been up at 5am nearly every day for the last 6 months and spent most weekends either swimming, cycling or running. Preparation was so key but there is always room for improvement and in hindsight more time running longer distances would have been a good idea as being the last part of the triathlon it was certainly the one that hurt the most!

5. How did it feel?

Exhausting! 7 hours and 50 minutes of nonstop exercise is a lot for the body to go through. But the support of family, friends and even work colleagues on the day really did drive me on. You have to find the motivation to keep going and not give up which at times was certainly testing! 

6. Would you do it again?

100%! But when my body has recovered! I can honestly say this was the physically most demanding task I have ever attempted. The reward you feel when you cross the finish line after such a challenge does make me want to do another and I really enjoyed every minute!

7. Best bit?

The swim. This is normally the one activity all triathletes fear as swimming in the sea isn’t easy at all! But luckily we had good weather on our side and it only took me 46 minutes to complete the 1.2 mile swim. It felt like a load of piranhas in a tank at one point as 3000 people rushing at once was a little crazy!

8. Worst bit?

The run, after a long swim and cycle then to run a half marathon your legs do feel like Jelly. Thankfully there were lots of food stations to replenish energy levels to keep me going. Not to mention my wife Vicky, son Oliver and Ruby & Sam in the office cheering me on.


9. What next?

Short term – rest. Maybe another IronMan in a more difficult location, it would be interesting to see how I would cope in another country. I really enjoyed the swim so maybe something swimming related. The 10k River Dart or even swim the channel…. Watch this space.

10. What did you do to celebrate?

Sleep! Everyone has said to earn a well-deserved drink as I haven’t drank a drop of alcohol in the last 6 months or so. But after all this the thought of a drink would probably hit me quicker than ever! I’d be a cheap date! Mrs K has treated me to every food possible, I’ve eaten my body weight twice over during the last 24 hours!

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