'I used to come last at school - but now I'm the highest achieving international sportsman in my class'
Updated 5:17pm Monday 21st July 2014 in News
A VETERAN triathlete will be pushing himself to the limit in Ironman Bolton to secure a place in the world championships in Hawaii.
The 55-year-old personal trainer and motivational speaker is hoping the home crowd in Bolton will help him finish in one of the top two slots in his age group to qualify for Ironman Hawaii.
The event will be a comeback for Mr Clamp who is back training for extreme events after being forced to bow out of Lake Garda's Triple Deca Ironman - covering 4,000 miles in 39 days - last year due to a broken collarbone.
Mr Clamp, from Bromley Cross, said: "I hope my age serves as a motivation and inspiration to people in their 30s especially with the football ethos regarding their years being behind them.
"Most people only reach a tiny percentage of their potential. I have gone from being the worst sports boy in my class at school to being the highest achieving international sportsman in my class.
"In school I actually was the slowest runner - I'd come last. I try to practice what I preach to my clients by pushing the limits in every way, getting out of my comfort zones."
Mr Clamp, father to son Sam, aged 27, and daughter Harriet, aged 25, used to teach French and German at Tottington High School in Bury but left about six years ago to become a personal trainer and focus on his training.
Mr Clamp's achievements include running 1,357 miles from London to Rome three years ago to raise thousands of pounds for a Parkinson's charity, completing the Deca Ironman in Mexico twice where he came second in 2011 and winning his first double Ironman in Holland in 1999.
Mr Clamp said: "I have done Ironman races all over the world but I have never done the Bolton event. The special thing will be the support I get doing the race.
"The goal is for me to qualify for the world championships for the age 55 to 59 - there will be two places.
"But you have always got to be respectful of the Ironman distance. You can't be arrogant enough to say you are going to do it within a certain time because it doesn't always work like that.
"I can be pretty sure about what time I will do the swim in and the cycle but sometimes I get off the bike and it happens and I finish the marathon within three hours or it doesn't and I finish an hour slower."
Mr Clamp has been training 20 hours a week since recovering from his injury. He plans to celebrate finishing the mammoth challenge on Sunday by staying near to the finish line to cheer on one of his clients, friends and other entrants.
He is being sponsored by Styles and Co in Warrington after staff were inspired to support him after he gave a talk to the accountancy firm.
He is raising money for Scope, a charity which aims to give disabled people the same opportunities as abled bodied people.
You can sponsor Mr Clamp here.