THE JBR Run and Tri Club are celebrating success at the renowned Ironman Barcelona.

The club, which was founded in Rochford just five years ago, had more members competing in Spain than any other in Europe.

And chairman Jon Brown – who was among those to take part in the gruelling event – was proud to see his club making such a big impact.

“We were the third largest represented club at the world’s largest Ironman but the two teams above us were from Mexico and Puerto Rico so we were the largest European club represented which was amazing,” said Brown.

“It made everyone all the more determined to do our club proud and everyone taking part definitely did that.”

Brown had previously completed the Ironman, along with six of his club-mates, and decided to get more triathletes this time around.

A post on the club’s Facebook page led to 20 triathletes immediately signing up, many of whom had never completed an Ironman event.

“There was a lot of interest right away but most of those who signed up had never completed more than an Olympic distance triathlon while one member actually got all the way to Barcelona without having done a triathlon of any kind,” said Brown.

“But signing up is the easy part.

“Some trained for nine months, others for six and it’s a huge challenge to take on.”

The Ironman event included a 3.8km swim, a 180km cycle and a 42.2km run.

But the JBR runners had plenty of company on their way round.

“There were close to 4,000 triathletes taking part from more than 70 countries so it’s a huge event and being part of it ourselves will live long in the memory for us all,” said Brown.

“The cut off time was 15 hours and 40 minutes and gradually our club members started to trickle home. We had more than 40 supporters there cheering us on and what was most pleasing was that no supporter or finishing member left before our final member had finished.

“And I think that really shows the spirit within the club and within the sport as well.”

JBR’s last member finished just before 12.20am on the Monday morning, much to the delight of Brown.

“Rather fittingly, our Barcelona Ironman takeover was complete in those final few moments of the race,” said Brown.

“Triathlon is one of the most individual sports in the world but, being part of our club, you never feel alone.”

However, the triathletes will not be resting on their laurels.

“We’ve already signed up for an Ironman in Italy next year,” added Brown.