HASLEMERE Ironman Richard Fisher successfully completed this year’s triathlon, despite his doctor advising him to stop running due to serious knee injuries.
The Ironman – a 2.4-mile swim and 112-mile bike ride followed by a 26.2-mile marathon run – is one of the toughest one-day events in the world of sport. But Richard, a non-executive director of Dorset-based asset management firm Zestec, wanted to test himself one last time and, with just a few weeks’ training, successfully completed the gruelling Tenby race – his fourth Ironman.
His first Ironman was in 2010, and he competed again for the next two years. It had been four years since he last rose to the challenge, when he took the last-minute decision to enter the Wales Ironman with just six weeks of training.
His doctor told him he shouldn’t run again due to ongoing knee problems, but, Richard said: “I just wanted to do one more.
“I told myself if I could get off the bike I could do the run, but my back seized up at the end of the bike race and for the entire run it was hurting. There are always people racing who are in far worse situations than me – you just have to keep going. I was worrying about my knees but in the end the pain in my back kept my mind off them.
“For several years I competed to raise money for charity but this last one was just a personal challenge, coming out of retirement and seeing if I could complete once more.
“I’m definitely tempted to do it again, but I have promised my wife I won’t. My biggest cheerleaders are my wife, Rachel, and our daughters Hannah and Danielle.
“The girls are the most amazing supporters. In any crowd I just have to listen for Hannah and I know where they are.
“When I competed in New York in 2012, Rachel and the girls were there cheering me on. And the three of them were there again in Tenby - complete with specially printed t-shirts.”
Richard is determined to keep going, against the odds. His 50th birthday present this winter is a two-week cycling trip to the Himalayas in 2019, which involves cycling for five or six hours a day and includes two days where he and his friends will be carrying their bikes.