In 2009 Jason had one of those moments. He smoked, ate and drank too much and didn’t exercise at all. With the re-occurrence of a back issue – despite having surgery in 2004 – Jason now faced the prospect of a second operation. It was at this point that he decided to take control of his own health, “I decided it was time to stop being lazy and foolish and to get up off my backside and get myself fit. I gave up smoking, cut down on alcohol, poor nutrition and started running and cycling.”
Jason had always held an ambition to be the first to do something big. So after many smaller challenges including several sprint and Olympic distance triathlons Jason concluded that he was ready to realise that ambition and #7days7irons was born.
In August 2015 Jason will attempt to complete 7 Iron Distance Triathlons in 7 Consecutive Days from Lands End to John O’Groats.
This equates to a total distance of 980.6 miles – or 140.6 miles PER DAY for 7 consecutive days travelling the full length of the UK. Stopping only to fuel up and sleep for just a few short hours each night.
While this is a personal challenge, something that Jason wants to achieve to test the extremes of endurance the mind and body are capable of, there is also the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of others. Therefore, as well as the #7days7irons event itself Jason has set himself another massive challenge… to raise £50,000 for Children North East by the end of 2015.
Sport: Ultra Triathlon
Pre-race Ritual: I wake early in the morning and usually eat very little. Perhaps a small bowl of cold milky porridge or a poached egg on toast. I will sip water and definitely sink an Elivar Prepare about an hour before the start. I like to get to the event as early as possible and make sure I am ready well ahead of time. Then I can relax. I try to find somewhere quiet to run through the race in my head. I set myself some do's and don'ts and shake off any negative thoughts.
Favourite Cheat Food: Bacon sandwiches! I only have one a week, usually at my son's football training ground on a Saturday morning. It's fatty and stodgy in a big white bun and I'd attack anyone that tried to take it from me!!
Favourite Form of Cross Training: I'm not a fan of weights or the gym in general but I do have a routine of situps, squats, pushups and such and will go through these once a week when I'm out running along the beach.
I don't have any placing or timing highlights, I mean, they are highlights to me but would make for very tame reading. My very first Triathlon, the Ashington Sprint in 2010 still stands out as my highlight. No matter what I have progressed on to I have never replicated the feeling of the last few metres and running across the finish line. You'd have thought I had won an Olympic Gold Medal. An emotional experience, it gave me the confidence to keep going. Because I had trained for the tri as an alternative to having a back operation, yes, an alternative, it was so important that it went well so that I could put the back problems out of my mind and move on. Other than that each event opens my eyes further to what I am capable of and helps me to realise that each time and can push myself further and further.