We heard from fundraiser Steve Hughes who just completed his triple threat fundraiser of the Milton Keynes marathon, the Great Eastern 2 mile swim and the Grafman Half Ironman! Here he is to tell us why he wanted to fundraise for Pancreatic Cancer UK and how he made it through his tough training...
I decided to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK following the unfortunate and premature passing of my father-in-law, Steven Pearce, to the disease shortly before my marriage to my (now) wife, Claire. To raise money for the hospice that cared for him, my mother-in-law cycled part of the Fylde coast, and to raise money and awareness of cancer my wife ran a 5k Race for Life. I was so proud of them, and this was when I felt compelled to do my bit.
I had already dabbled in a few Sprint Triathlons and 10k runs, so I needed to complete a task that was a real personal challenge. Primarily, I chose just the Milton Keynes Marathon as this challenge, but my friends and family were not convinced that it was enough of a feat to really put their hands in their pockets. For this reason, I added the Great Eastern 2 Mile Swim and the Grafman Half Ironman (1900 metre swim, 55 mile cycle, 13.1 mile run) - which did the trick!
Each event was a distance that worried me greatly and required a lot of research and training to accomplish. I struggled with runner's knee when training for the marathon and the inclement weather on the day led to early stages of hypothermia towards the end of the run; this nearly ended my attempt prematurely. Also, shortly before the Grafman Triathlon, I slipped on a wet road when cycling and chipped a bone in my knuckle that may lead to surgery down the line. These afflictions were an aside to the bouts of pain that I felt when competing in the events - but they don't come anywhere near the pain that we saw Steven go through for a long time with his truly horrible illness. This is the perspective that I adopted whenever my legs or back felt like they were breaking or my muscles felt like they were on fire. I also thought about how failing would mean that I couldn't collect the sponsorship and give it to Pancreatic Cancer UK, or better advertise a great cause that desperately needs further research and understanding.
After a hard year of physical and mental torture I'm really pleased that I was able to complete all events and in respectable times too. It started as a means to an end but, unexpectedly, it has given me the confidence to compete in more endurance events in the future, which will lead on to my next fundraising challenge of a full Ironman.
My biggest thanks go to my long suffering wife who helped me keep my sanity with a balanced training/life balance and who has been to all of my events to cheer me on and carry me home. I also could not have got to the start line without the help of NiceTri Triathlon Club and the Riverside Runners, who have advised me and trained with me the whole way.
If you're thinking about doing an event for us that isn't featured on our website, then get in touch with our Fundraising team! They'll help you ensure your event is a success.