Whoever dreamed up the triathlon must have really wanted to teach the body who’s boss. ‘Swimming, cycling and running for miles on end aren’t tiring enough on their own,’ this mystery exercise-o-phile must have mused. ‘Why don’t we roll the three events into one and find out how much a human can ache.’
So, for those of us who get out of breath watching darts on TV, what’s it like to take on a triathlon? Paul Hurrell takes us through his journey as he prepares to run, cycle and swim to raise money for MS-UK.
‘Five years ago, I lost my mum to multiple sclerosis (MS) at the tender age of just 65. She had been in a nursing home for 20 years. During this time my younger brother and I could have really used the help and support that MS-UK provide but weren’t really aware of them. This is probably because the year my mum had to go into a home was the year MS-UK started. It therefore seemed rather apt that if I was going to do something for charity this year it should be for MS-UK.
‘I decided that I would participate in another Triathlon. I had competed in three, two years earlier, and so decided that as the Birmingham Triathlon was the first one I ever completed I would enter again this year and have a goal of beating my previous time. I decided as I hadn’t done anything for charity for a few years I would try and raise £500 for MS-UK.
‘Now, don’t do what I did! I had a few too many drinks that night and decided that one triathlon really wasn’t demanding enough to ask my friends and family to part with their hard earned cash for. So I signed up to participate in 10 in 5 months…idiot! Anyway, this Sunday I will start my fourth and I haven’t collapsed yet, so, so far so good!
‘I have the added advantage of owning a gym. It should help with my training but, like anyone, I tend not to use what is right on my doorstep. However, what it did enable me to do was try other ways of raising money rather than just asking for donations.
‘So far, we have run two exercise competitions at a local street fair and asked for a £1 donation to MS-UK to participate. We also had a totally free day at the gym - don’t pay for your training instead make a donation. This has gone so well that we are running another local event in two weeks’ time and hope to continue trying new things for the rest of this year.
‘I have had a great time telling everyone about the superb work MS-UK do, but better than this, I have already exceeded my £500 target and am well on my way to doubling it!’
You can sponsor Paul today on his JustGiving fundraising page!