An Abergavenny man has successfully completed an Ironman Triathlon event in Italy.

The Ironman Triathlon is a series of long-distance races organised races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), consisting of a 2.4mile swim, a 112 miles bicycle ride and a marathon of 26.22 miles run.

It is widely considered to be one of the most difficult one day sporting events in the world.

Simon O’Neill took part in the Ironman Emilia-Romagna in Cervia, Italy on September 18.

Simon finished the arduous event in a time of 11 hours 38 minutes, positioning 144 out of the 287 participants in his age group of 45 years.

And he came 714 out of 1501 overall competitors.

Simon is a member of Y Fenni Triathlon club in Abergavenny who hold swim training at Abergavenny Leisure Centre on Sunday mornings, whilst running and cycling is organised every first and third Sunday of each month.

Speaking to the Chronicle about his wonderful achievement, Simon said: “I’m so happy I’ve done it.

‘‘This was the longest event I have ever participated in, I have done half-Ironman events in the past so this was a real step out of my comfort zone and required a lot of additional training to prepare.

‘‘It is a great achievement, and one I am very proud of.”

With travel restrictions still in place due to the Covid pandemic, Simon was even unsure of whether the event would go ahead and if he would be able to compete.

He added: “I had my doubts because of Covid and travel restrictions whether I would be able to compete or even get out to Italy which was quite stressful, but thankfully it all got sorted. Everyone who helped organise the event did an amazing job making sure everything was done safely and professionally.”