A MAN from Rhyl who changed his life during the COVID-19 pandemic completed a “half-ironman” challenge in North Wales for the third consecutive year last week.

Andy Morrissey, a 45-year-old former oil rig worker, took on the ROC challenge on May 11, which comprised 1.5km swim in the sea in Abersoch, a 50km cycle to Eryri, and run up and down the Watkin Path, a 50km cycle back to Abersoch, and a 1km run on the beach in Abersoch.


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He recorded a time of seven hours, five minutes and 20 seconds – a 10-minute improvement on his time two years ago.

This achievement follows Andy visiting all seven wonders of the world, in his efforts to “make the impossible possible”.

Andy said he had been in a “dark place” at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, weighing more than 15 stone and “drowning my sorrows in heavy drinking”.

He said: “It was very hard, on probably the hottest day of the year so far, when it was 26°C!

“I didn’t train as hard as last year, but I did alright.

“It’s just for my own personal growth, really. From where I was three or four years ago, I’m a completely different person now.

“I love doing it. I’m mentally fit, and it encourages my children to do it, as well.

“Everything I said I was going to do is happening, so it’s all going well. It feels really inspirational  and fulfilling.”

His son, Jax, meanwhile, took part in the ROCSTARS 1km race on Abersoch beach the previous day, along with his two cousins, also from Rhyl.

Andy is also due to take part in four “ultramarathons” and two more half-ironman events before the end of 2024.

He wants to keep travelling “everywhere and anywhere”, and his attempt to visit “as many countries as I can”.