A GREAT Sankey triathlete defied the odds to complete one of the world's hardest Ironman events for a fifth time.

Brian New underwent a double knee operation in January at Spire Hospital, but began training in March for another Lanzarote Ironman.

Raising money for the Warrington Wolves Foundation and SSAFA, the 51-year-old completed a race he first ran in 1998 to earn the 'Special Achievement' medal.

"It wasn't fast and it wasn't pretty," said the project manager. "Considering I had four months of no running at the time when needed, I was more than happy to take that one.

"(In 1998) my wife, Alison, suggested we go. It was only then I read it was reputedly the 'hardest Ironman in the world'.

"The plan was to do the race and cross it off my bucket list."

Four more entries followed after New began coaching triathlon at David Lloyd in Warrington in 2000, although torn knee cartilage looked like making this year impossible.

"I had loads of physio and worked really hard on recovery, so much so that by mid-April I'd decided I could walk the marathon if needed," added New, who went on to finish with a 1hour 24mins swim, 7hour 10min cycle and 4hour 44mins run.

"Funnily enough, after the last six months, it was the most rewarding of my Lanzarote finishes," he added.

"It was a great feeling to receive my 'Special Achievement' medal and be there with the people who've supported me."

Brian is raising money for the above foundations at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/enduranceuk