AS A child struggling with asthma, Roger Barr was happy if he just completed a school cross-country.
Now, however, the 27-year-old Accrington man is striving to have a go at the ultimate in sports - an Ironman Triathlon.
It is just the tiny matter of a two-and-a-half-mile swim in open water, a 112-mile bike ride and a marathon at the end - which should take Roger around 11 hours.
"It is something I have always dreamed of doing. I must be mad!" admitted the senior software developer, who now works in London. "I guess it may be because I struggled with asthma at school but always wanted to test myself. Luckily I went into remission when I was about 16. It fizzled out, although there is always the danger it could come back."
Roger's dad, Eric, remembers his son collapsing on the Hameldon Hill Race and Roger admits he struggled round Moorhead High School's cross-country course because he couldn't catch his breath.
"I remember he was hospitalised with asthma when he was about 13," said his dad, who lives with mum Eileen in Queens Road, Accrington. "But he was always good at sport and he never let it stop him."
Roger, who also went to Peel Park Primary School, was a member of Pioneer 79 Swimming Club and did time trials for North Lancashire Road Cycling Club but only took up running later after being inspired by someone he used to play bowls with at the Coppice green.
This was David Staff who, at 17 years old, died suddenly while running a race. Roger decided he wanted to help David's dad Granville raise money for CRY - Cardiac Risk in the Young - and so, in 2001, he decided to run the London Marathon for him.
"At first I just wanted to get round," said Roger, who stands at 6' 7". "Then, when I started training, I took it seriously. I finished it in two hours 56 minutes. Last year I did it again and finished in 2.45. That's when I decided, as I could cycle and swim, to have a go at a triathlon."
He took his inspiration from Accrington fireman Chris Goddard, who competed in the Ironmen events in the 1980s. He said: "I decided to go for the ultimate so last July, without attempting a triathlon, I sent off an e-mail for one in America. When I clicked the button to send my entry then I began to panic! Usually these people train for three or four years and work up to it. I have gone straight in there."
The event is at Lake Placid in New York and his dad, mum and girlfriend will be going out to support him. They should be able to see plenty of him as the cycling and 26-mile run are in laps.
Roger has been training hard for a year now. He gets up at 5.30am, cycles the 11 miles to work and back, swims at a local gym for an hour before work and then, when he gets home, he can run up to 20 miles a night.
"I have to have an understanding partner because I am obsessed!" he laughed.
He also trains in open water in a lake in London and eats 5,000 calories a day - and alcohol is strictly limited. "I don't know how I will do. I am determined to finish but I have come a long way from the boy who had asthma in Accrington."