'I don't think I could sit still for hours and watch TV' - Hitchin man ready to take on 36-hour Ultraman Challenge

PUBLISHED: 08:31 26 January 2016 | UPDATED: 09:58 26 January 2016

Thumbs up: Ross Welton is ready to attempt the Ultraman Challenge in Canada.

Thumbs up: Ross Welton is ready to attempt the Ultraman Challenge in Canada.

Archant

A Hitchin man has victory in his sights after winning a place at one of the world's toughest endurance competitions.

Hitchin's Ross Welton taking a rest with friends at his last Ultraman race, where he was unable to fulfill his potential due to illness.Hitchin's Ross Welton taking a rest with friends at his last Ultraman race, where he was unable to fulfill his potential due to illness.

Ross Welton will fly more 4,000 miles to Penticton in Canada to take part in the 36-hour Ultraman Challenge – which sees competitors swim, cycle and complete two marathons to reach the finish line,

“Only 40 people take part and I applied after completing other challenges with good times and got a place,” said the 33-year-old.

“I can’t wait to get out there, if I could I’d do it tomorrow.”

Ross was 26 when he took on his first extreme challenge and instantly got the bug for pushing his body to its limits.

Hitchin's Ross Welton will be competiting in the Ultraman Challenge in Canada.Hitchin's Ross Welton will be competiting in the Ultraman Challenge in Canada.

It is his second attempt at the Ultraman race – after an illness last year meant he wasn’t at his best.

He said: “I went over last year but got really ill two days before the race – it was pretty horrific – I still did the race but didn’t finish anywhere near where I wanted to.

“You’ve got to be really dedicated. The build up is nine months of training 40 hours a week and I don’t eat any carbs – my body purely burns fat.”

The July race is made up of a six-and-a-half mile swim and 90-mile bike ride in the mountains on day one, a 180-mile bike ride on day two and a double marathon on the final day.

Hitchin's Ross Welton at the double marathon stage of his previous Ultraman race.Hitchin's Ross Welton at the double marathon stage of his previous Ultraman race.

Ross, who runs a financial advice company, is looking forward to the bike stage the most. He said: “Biking is the most fun, at least when you’re on a bike and you stop pedalling you still move, you don’t stop or sink.

“If I was going to a family dinner at Christmas I would always cycle instead of drive and for my holidays, instead of a relaxing break I’d go on training camps.”

The winner gets to compete at the world championships in Hawaii and Ross fancies his chances.

“If I go there as fit as I was last year and without an illness I’ve got a good chance of winning, but just going and being back there will be great,” he said.

“It gets to the point where cycling for nine to 10 hours becomes the norm. If I had to sit still for hours and watch telly I don’t think I could do it.”

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