Lancaster University librarian runs off with award

Lancaster University librarian Andy Holgate
Lancaster University librarian Andy Holgate

Andy Holgate has become a runaway success after winning the Best Book Award at the 2014 Running Awards.

The Lancaster University librarian’s book, ‘Can’t Swim, Can’t Ride, Can’t Run’, beat off stiff competition from 11 other finalists to take the award – which was voted for by the public.

The book describes his journey from overweight couch potato to competing in Ironman triathlons.

Andy said: “I’m absolutely delighted and somewhat shocked to win this award. I’m never likely to win a race, so thanks to all who voted.”

‘Can’t Swim, Can’t Ride, Can’t Run: My Triathlon Journey from Common Man to Ironman’ follows Andy’s attempts to complete an Ironman triathlon consisting of a 2.4-mile swim and a 112-mile bike ride followed by a marathon.

He weighed 18 stone when he began training and could not even swim.

But since his first triathlon in 2006, he has run, swum and cycled thousands of miles and competed in events all over the world. Andy said: “When I first went to the swimming pool, I splashed about and swam like a rock but thanks to a good book, some sage advice and intense practice, I completed my first race several weeks later.

“I fell in love with cycling despite my lack of balance, an aversion to hills, not knowing how to fix a puncture and being adamant that tight Lycra was a look that didn’t work on me”.