Office to Ironman: interview with Lee McCarron, senior recruitment consultant

Lee McCarron nigel frank

Our very own Lee McCarron isn’t just a superstar in the office—he’s also an Ironman hopeful and quite possibly one of the most energetic people we’ve ever met. Lee gives 110% in everything he does, both inside and outside of the workplace, so when he decided to tackle the Outlaw Triathlon, we took the chance to show Lee some of the same support he offers his colleagues every day.

We sat down with Lee to talk about his training regime, his journey so far, and plans for his sporting future.

Q: Could you tell us a little about what you do at Frank Recruitment Group, and your background in sports?

Lee: I’ve worked at Frank Recruitment Group for two and a half years—I started out working in Nigel Frank’s BI division and did that for a year before moving on to Dynamics AX. I was rowing competitively when I joined the business, but after six months I found it difficult to get to organized sessions with club I was rowing for.

With a bit of a background in endurance sports—a few local half marathons, cycling, and competitive swimming many years ago—I decided to move into triathlons with the aim of racing in longer-distance events.

In June 2018 I completed the Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire, which meant a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile cycle and 13.1 mile run, with a time of 5 hours 27 mins. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done!

I unfortunately crashed during a local cycling race in August last year and fractured my collar bone. So with a bit of time out to recover, I decided to enter my first long distance triathlon at Ironman distance—that’s a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle, and 26.2 mile run—for July 2019 in Nottingham. It’s officially called the Outlaw Triathlon.

Q: That’s incredible! Could you tell us more about Ironman, the World Championship and what it takes to qualify and win these events?

Lee: I’ve been training for Outlaw since early January, setting my own training around work and on weekends. I’ve been averaging around 12 hours of training per week, with the heaviest training weeks being around 14 hours. I usually start training before work at 5:30am and catch a session after work too.

On Sunday 28th July, I competed in the Outlaw triathlon, but the bike leg had to be cancelled, effectively making a duathlon. I completed the 2.4-mile swim in 56 minutes, and the 26.2-mile  marathon in 3 hours and 23 minutes.

As part of my training,  I raced in the Stockton Duathlon in April (10km running, 40km cycling, 5km running). This was a qualifying event for the ITU Standard Duathlon World Championships in Almere, Holland. The top performers from each age group were invited to join the GB Age Group Team and race at the World Championship Multi-Sport festival in September 2020. The main goal was to use the race in Stockton for training, so to qualify for the World Championships was a bonus.

I’m currently waiting on confirmation to see if I‘ve qualified for the 2020 ETU European Triathlon Championships following a race I did recently. I finished tenth out of 260 athletes, and hopefully placed high enough in my age group to qualify for the championships in Estonia next year.

The long term goal is to race at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. In order to do this, I would have to come in the top two or three in my age group at an official Ironman branded event. Unfortunately these races are very expensive to enter (around £500-£600), so I’m using Outlaw at the end of this month to gain some experience and target an official Ironman race in the coming years.

Follow Lee on his Ironman journey over on his Instagram, @officetoironman