Record-breaking Scottish hotelier named ‘Ironman’ in Austria for seventh consecutive year


Award-winning Scottish hotelier Nicholas Russell has broken local Glenrothes Triathlon Club records with the achievement of completing his seventh full-distance Ironman challenge. 

Taking place in Austria earlier in the month, 56-year-old Russell successfully crossed the finish line in 15 hours and 41 minutes, following a 3.8km swim in open water, followed by a 180km cycle, followed by a 42.2km marathon.

Successful competitors must cross the finish line within 17 hours, the race is a monumental challenge which is considered the jewel in the crown of European Triathlon sport. 

Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful locations to partake in the Ironman challenge, the cycling portion of the race includes a significant climb high into the Austrian Alps – achieving a height 450 metres higher than Ben Nevis – Scotland’s highest mountain.

Despite suffering a knee injury six months prior to taking part which meant he was unable to run or cycle uphill, Russell adapted his training plan to include indoor cycling and race walking over 300km on the Kirkaldy Prom.

A member of the 81-member Glenrothes Triathlon Club since 2014, Russell has been an active proponent of the club, and Club Founder Steven McEwan has called the 2024 achievement ‘absolutely unbelievable.’

Nicholas credits the local club with providing the support and encouragement to complete the challenge, he said: “Joining our amazing, local, friendly and inclusive club ten years ago was a life-changing decision. It has been such an honour to represent the club and successfully complete seven Ironman challenges in a row.

“My ongoing training over the decade has taken me significantly further than the entire 40,075 kilometres of Planet Earth, and I have certainly counted my many blessings in being able to proceed, every single 100 metres of the journey”.

Club Head Coach Neil Clark has called the seventh finish an ‘amazing achievement throughout, promising plenty of adventures ahead’.

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