A FORMER Bolton News journalist inspired by Ironman has signed up for his first triathlon.

But he has a slight problem — he cannot swim or ride a bike.

Dave Beevers got the bug for extreme challenges during a “life-changing” 18 months of training for his first marathon in May.

The 58-year-old shed more than half his body weight to take on the Liverpool Marathon in memory of his wife, Diane, who died of cancer.

Mr Beevers, from Smithills, says he was so impressed with the Ironmen and women last weekend, he has entered a triathlon in Cheshire in September.

He only sat on a bike for the first time three weeks ago and admits he swims “like an anchor” — but Dave is still optimistic.

Mr Beevers, who worked at The Bolton News from 1990 to 1993, said: “Ironman is an awesome event and watching these guys stretch themselves to the limit will be a massive inspiration for me as I start out on my triathlon challenge.

“But when you can’t ride a bike or swim it’s a case of taking one step at a time. Ironman? Maybe one day.”

Mrs Beevers, a former licensee of the Sally Up Steps pub in Chorley Old Road, died of breast cancer in February 2013, aged 71.

At the start of 2013, Mr Beevers weighed 24 stone, had Type 2 diabetes and struggled to get up a flight of stairs.

After losing his wife, he decided to sort out his health and joined a gym.

He soon took up running and within a year had lost more than nine stone.

Mr Beevers also set himself an ambitious fundraising target of £100,000 for Breast Cancer Care.

He added: “The courage and bravery she showed during those final weeks of her life made me realise how special she was and I had to do something to keep her memory alive.

“At the moment, I swim like a ship’s anchor and am so unsteady on a bike it looks like I’m cycling through an earthquake.

“But I’ll get there. Diane will get me through. She’s my Ironwoman.”

To follow Mr Beevers’s progress, go to his blog: runningwithdiane.blogspot.co.uk