Adoptive dad overcomes injury to complete Ironman challenge

Published: 18.09.15

An adoptive dad from Wales completed a gruelling Ironman challenge on Sunday despite being advised to not run again following a serious knee injury.
Adoptive dad overcomes injury to complete Ironman challenge

Marcus Foster, 43, endured rolling seas, severe cramp and a bicycle puncture during 'Ironman Wales' which comprised of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile cycle ride and 26.2 mile run.

Marcus completed the challenge in Tenby in a time of 13hrs 37 minutes and has so far raised almost £1,000 in aid of Adoption UK.

The father of two adopted children, aged seven and 10, said: "There was a swell in the sea of about 4 or 5ft which made things quite interesting and I got a bad cramp in my left leg during the swim which I carried for the rest of the event. It's pretty intense in the sea as there are 2,100 people swimming with you, all heading for the same place as you...the exit point, a small patch of the North Beach in Tenby."

Marcus had about 830 competitors in front of him as he then started the cycle ride. He made up about 300 places but then suffered a puncture on a downhill section when travelling at about 40mph.

He said: "I was so close to the finish line, about 3 miles out, I didn't stop to repair it, instead I rolled the bike in, which meant I lost more time and places of course.

"My run was then a reasonable plod for five hours as I didn't want to risk wrecking my knee. For the last five miles I upped the pace as I felt pretty good. The only issue was afterwards - my left calf is fairly badly strained and my left knee is pretty painful but otherwise I feel great."

Marcus described the atmosphere at the event as "awesome".

He said: "The support was unbelievable. Everyone lines the streets overlooking the beach, people are shouting, waving and cheering you on as you come out of the sea and run the 1,000m to transition, you can't help but have a spring in your step.

"It resembled the Tour de France as you cycle up one of the hills, nicknamed 'Heartbreak Hill' as there's only a bike's width to get through all of the spectators who are all willing you up the hill."

The former British servicemen said he was humbled by the resilience of some of his fellow competitors.

Marcus said: "What stood out for me were the competitors who were determined to complete the course, despite the blisters, exhaustion and the deteriorating weather conditions having been battling the course for 15 hours plus. Those guys truly are amazing!"

But Marcus displayed his own iron will having been advised to never run competitively again, just two years ago.
He explained: "I was in the army so it's quite ironic that I came out unscathed only to later suffer a nasty knee injury after falling off a skateboard while larking around with my boys!

"The surgeon advised me not to run at all as they'd removed my knee's shock absorption and shaved the end of the femur. Naturally there were follow-up problems because of the changes to the architecture of the knee. Thank goodness for the NHS!"

But a year into his recovery Marcus signed up to Ironman Wales and slowly began building up his fitness through cycling and swimming.

He added: "I saw Ironman Wales not only as a challenge to me, but as a great opportunity to raise some awareness of the great work Adoption UK (Wales) does, that alone was worth every bit of pain and dark moment endured".

If you’d like to sponsor Marcus, you can do so here: