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Culdrose 'Iron' pair man up for monster triathlon
10:00am Sunday 11th August 2013 in News
Two members of staff from RNAS Culdrose have “manned up” for a full ‘Iron Distance’ triathlon event.
Iron Lady, Helen Webb, 37, and training partner Chief Petty Officer Shawn Gimbert, 42, both entered and completed the Outlaw Triathlon at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham.
Both amateur athletes conquered the 2.4 mile swim, the 112 mile bike ride and the 26.2 mile marathon run in competitive times. The race had 1,000 starters with 911 finishing.
Helen, who was a Royal Navy physical training instructor from 1994 to 2002, now works at Culdrose in the motor transport department.
She regularly runs for Mounts Bay Harriers Triathlon and Runners club but this was her first full Iron Distance. She completed the course in 12 hours, 44 minutes, coming third in the swimming and 27th overall female out of 107.
When Helen was asked if she would do it again she said: “Yes, but not next year. I think every two years is achievable because I still want a life.
“The secret to my success at the event was the peanut butter and jam sandwiches that gave me that boost of energy to keep going.”
Helen, originally from Ipswich, has lived in Cornwall since leaving the Royal Navy in 2002. She had a short sabbatical year in the Royal Mail and then began working as a civilian employee back in the Naval service.
Shawn is still serving in the Royal Navy with a background in air engineering, predominantly in the Sea King community, and has served in almost every Sea King Naval Air Squadron at Culdrose. He currently works in quality assurance on the base, keeping a close attention to detail in both his work and training.
His time for the Outlaw was 12 hours, 23 minutes which for him was disappointing having achieved 11 hours, 35 minutes previously on a similar outing.
He said: “I think I got a bit of ‘Iron man-flu’ which affected my time.”
In actual fact Shawn was diagnosed with a viral chest infection, but completed the race and needed antibiotics to help clear it up. Shawn represents the Royal Navy Triathlon Association, but he also trains alongside Helen at the Mounts Bay Harriers.
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