Joe hopes to blaze a trail in Hawaii

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It’s rare you see the roles of a fireman and an Ironman combined into one.

But Joe Duckworth manages to fit both in... and rather well too.

While plying his trade as a fireman at BAE Warton, the Chorley man is also a triathlete and has recently qualied for the Ironman World Championships, top be staged in Kona, Hawaii, on October 14 next year.

After finishing eighth in his 40-45 age group category in the Ironman Wales finishing eighth in his category of 40-45 at Ironman Wales, in a time of 10 hours 32 minutes, Joe will now take on the world’s best.

He said: “What I want to do is finish in the top five UK athletes for my age group.

“What would be great is if I was the quickest athlete from the UK at my age, but that would be some achievement and very tough.”

Joe’s introduction to the Ironman came about in unusual circumstances.

He watching his friend compete in the 2009 UK event in Bolton, but saw him struggling on the road race.

Joe knew his friend needed encouragement, so he made a promise that at the time sounded great.

He said: “I said to my mate if you can finish this race, then I will compete in next year’s event.

“And guess what, he finish so I kept my word and registered for the Ironman in 2010.”

Since that event, Joe hasn’t looked back, competing in six Ironman events.

He has competed all over Europe and had particular success in Germany.

He said: “Germany was excellent for me and I absolute smashed my personal best over there.

“My time was nine hours 29 minutes ,and I was delighted with my performance.

“The course is Germany is known for being the fastest Ironman course in the world because it is completely flat, but you still have to do these things.”

His qualification for the Worlds saw him defeat three full-time professional male athletes, and all but two of the emale professional athletes.

But his success isn’t all down to his dedication to training, as he has massive praise for the influence of his coach Ian Murphy.

He added: “Ian has been absolutely excellent for me.

“I brought him in and he has been instrumental in my success.

“We had a training schedule and I achieved world championship qualification six-months ahead of time.”

The worlds will be a televised event on Channel 4 .

But sponsorship is key for Joe in his quest for success in Kona, and if anyone would like to sponsor him, he can be contact ed on 07817859836.