Iron Man: Extreme Fundraising!

October 01, 2019

Imagine diving into an outdoor lagoon in Denmark at 6.30am, swimming 2.4 miles, and then immediately jumping on a bike and cycling 109 miles. Even the idea of such physical exertion has me reaching for an energy boosting Mars Bar. But not only did retired GP, Simon Rains, complete both the swim and the cycle, he went straight on to run a MARATHON in the same day! No, Simon hadn’t taken leave of his senses, he was extreme fundraising for Nayamba. We were fascinated to find out all the painful details of his Ironman Challenge...

The Training Regime: Training should have been a careful balance of increasing my fitness and allowing my old body to recover. Alas my bull in a china shop approach caused muscle pulls, a hernia, broken ribs (caused by falling off my bike because I didn’t unclip!) and varicose veins (which required Nora Batty-style elastic stockings).

The Swim: “It took me 1hour 31 minutes to complete the swim, having suffered some rather embarrassing leg cramp. Thankfully, two helpers fished me out of the water at the finish!”

The Cycle: “The route along the Danish coastline, with views across to Sweden was stunning. We rode through some idyllic villages and fields north of Copenhagen. The terrific support kept me going throughout my 6 hours and 36 minutes ride.”

The Marathon: “I felt very tired at the beginning of the marathon run but ran well for the first 10 miles. Achilles pain then took over and there was a lot of ‘power walking’. I managed to run the last mile along the red carpet. Run time: in 5hrs 22min”

Total time: 14 hours 53 seconds.

“I am incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to do this triathlon in order to give life opportunities to the children of Nayamba School, Zambia. I carried a photograph of the children of the school around the course, which gave me comfort and encouragement at the transitions and the hard moments. Thank everyone for your support, sponsorship and words of advice. There's still time to support my success here on Virgin Money - thank you!

People have been so impressed by Simon’s commitment that they have generously donated £4000 to help fund the building of the Nayamba trade centre. Maybe Simon’s challenge will inspire you to think about what you could do to help the school!