6:40pm Sunday 31st March 2013
For most teenagers celebrating their 18th birthday usually involves a momentous first (legal) pint in the pub, but not for one prospective Ironman from Pembroke.
John Morris turns 18 just three days before competing in September's Ironman Wales in Tenby, making him the youngest Ironman in Europe taking on a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run.
"All my friends are saying I should go out for a pint on my birthday, but I've told them I'm not going to do that," John said. "I need to be quite strict and I've got to prepare my body a week before."
John, a marine operation maintenance and engineering student at Pembrokeshire College, is no stranger to sport. From the age of 13 to 16, he belonged to the Welsh Dinghy Sailing Squad and later joined the GBR youth team.
He said: "I got to the level where I had to give up my whole life to develop and I really loved it, but I decided to ease off and took up triathlon. I've always loved cycling and I've got pretty good stamina, so I started from there."
After marshalling last year's swimming stage, John decided to sign up for the epic challenge and now does three hours running, three hours swimming and up to ten hours cycling as part of his weekly training regime, as well as competing.
"Being the youngest person in Europe is not something that really crossed my mind but it's quite an accomplishment," he said.
A DNF (did not finish) is every competitor's worst nightmare, but for John, who hopes to finish in 11 hours 30 minutes, that is not an option.
"Obviously if I physically can't do it, if I break my leg or something it would cross my mind that it's not the best idea to carry on, but I'm just going to push through."
His dad, Paul Morris, said: "I think it's absolutely brilliant. I do worry about the distance a bit because it's an awfully long way to do things, but it's great."
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