Husband, Father, Ironman, Ultra Runner, Ultra Swimmer, Endurance Athlete and Wasps fan. Completed 52 x 70.3 Triathlons in one season.
Keith Diaper MSA
@keithdiaper

The above is my Twitter bio and I admit it does sound quite cool and I do sound like a naturally sporty guy, I’m not!! Well not naturally sporty anyway, truth be told I’m a middle aged guy who at my biggest was 17st 7lbs and had no want to get into sport. I came to sport late in life, in 2006 I took part in a 5 mile run with a friend and then completed a 60 mile cycle ride for Cancer Research. I wanted to try something bigger after completing that ride and that’s when my bug for endurance challenges started.

In 2007 I took on a solo cycle ride from Dover to Land’s End covering 404 miles in 5 days. Then in 2009 I pushed it that bit further and completed a 1108 mile solo cycle ride to every Premiership football and Rugby club in England in 12 days. Cycling had always been my stronger sport, having cycled to and from work as an apprentice.

As you can see a pattern was starting to appear, doing an endurance event every other year. In 2011 saw the arrival of our daughter Isabella, so no time for silly bike rides around the country. In 2012 a good friend of mine contacted me about joining her for a 99 mile trek from Southampton to Dunstable over two days. This was planned for 2013 but we quickly had to change the plans; Katie had hurt her foot and was told she could not cover that milage without causing more damage. We decided to change the event to a triathlon, we swam 2000 metres, cycled 79 miles and covered 20 miles on foot in one day.

After completing the home made triathlon, I was hooked. I told my wife I would take part in the UK Ironman triathlon in 2015. For those of you who have never come across an Ironman, the distances covered are 2.4mile open water swim, 112 mile cycle ride and 26.2 mile run, all to be completed in under 17 hours or you don’t get a medal. I joined a local running club at the start of 2014 and started pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. Later that year with a few other members from the club we started HERC Triathlon and that helped bring my training on in leaps and bounds. Before I knew it, I was on lining up on the side of the lake in Bolton and after 14 hrs and 57 mins I completed my first Ironman.

After such an amazing event I carried on running, and taking part in triathlons and even completed a 10 km swim. Nothing filled the void of having a big challenge in my life, until I was inspired by the Iron Cowboy. He completed 50 Ironman triathlons in 50 days, now I couldn’t do this with my work and family commitments, but it got me thinking. I soon came up with the Middle 52 challenge, the idea was simple to complete a half Iron distance triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile cycle, 13.1 mile run) every Saturday and Sunday for 26 weeks. On the 24th September 2017 surrounded by friends and family I crossed the line of my 52nd 70.3 triathlon in six months.

I had said that after such a major challenge I would back things off a bit, but truth be told I will always be pushing myself with some challenge, It’s what drives me. However I want to help inspire and encourage others to push their limits along side my personal challenges. This website is not about blowing my own trumpet but helping others. I’m hoping to encourage others like me, whether your a larger kid looking to be challenged or a middle aged man juggling a job and family commitments. However saying that, it’s not exclusively for those people, we all need inspiration, motivation and tips. I will be adding public speaking session (late 2018) for clubs, teams or education facilities.

So that’s me, keep checking the website for updates on new challenges, talks and adventures. You can also keep up to date across my social media accounts.

Keith