Sheffield dad attempts USA IronMan thanks to brawn – and B. Braun!
A fighting fit dad from Sheffield’s B. Braun Medical Ltd is being supported by his employer to compete in a World Championship IronMan in the USA.
B. Braun Medical Ltd is supporting Andy Tucker, who works as a Field Service Engineer at the healthcare organisation to enable him to take on his ‘greatest challenge’ in the world’s toughest Half IronMan.
Andy, 45, said: “I’d always struggled with my weight, but in 2009 at the age of 36 I finally realised I needed to make a change. I clearly remember the day and exact moment I made this decision. At the time, I was nearly 20 stone and I was in the park with my son, watching him play. He was being a bit cheeky, so I went to chase him and realised I couldn’t catch him because I was out of breath and couldn’t move fast enough.
“As an asthmatic smoker approaching 40, I felt like I was a heart attack waiting to happen. I vowed to do something about it.
“I gave up smoking and started running. My first run was to the end of the road and I felt like I was going to die. Slowly but surely things started to happen, I could run further and for longer and the weight started to go.
“I then remembered how much I loved my bike when I was young, so I purchased a cheap one and started running and cycling as well. The weight started to fall off.
“In late 2011, my son started swimming and it reminded me of how much time I spent in the pool as a kid, so I started swimming as well.
“I competed in my first Triathlon in April 2012, it was tough but I did ok. Three years later I did the same event and finished 12th out of around 200 people – it was then I realised perhaps I wasn’t too bad at this.
“Since then I’ve completed around 10 Triathlons, 15 Duathlons and numerous other cycling and running races including a marathon.”
Andy has now qualified for the Half IronMan World Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Championships take place on 10 September 2017 and will be attended by the likes of Olympic Triathlete Alistair Brownlee and Formula One driver Jenson Button.
Andy continued: “I’ve decided to take on my greatest challenge of racing in the world’s toughest Half IronMan event. While I’ve done five previously, this is the toughest by far.
“Most of my journey has been while working for B. Braun as I started in 2010. Working in the healthcare sector shows me every day how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet, and I’m so thankful to the company for being so supportive.”
B. Braun Medical Ltd Group Chief Executive Hans Hux said: “At B. Braun we try to support our employees with their health as much as possible, and we’ve recently launched a special Health and Wellbeing Programme aiming to make staff more aware of how lifestyle behaviours can influence current and future health.
“We’re immensely proud of Andy and we’ll be supporting him all the way to the USA.”