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  • University lecturer completes gruelling Ironman challenge

    Danielle Thompson

    A UNIVERSITY lecturer has raised  nearly £800 for charity after taking on the gruelling Ironman challenge.

    Richard Talbot, from Southport, who is a member of the Southport Waterloo Athletic Club, took on the Ironman Wales challenge on Sunday, September 9 – which included a 2.4 mile sea swim, 112-mile hilly bike ride and 26.2-mile marathon run through the town of Tenby.

    University of Salford lecturer, Richard, who turns 51 on September 28, swapped his shirt and tie for sportsgear when he turned his triathlon hobby into a charity quest after beginning training for it when he turned 50 last year.

    He previously set himself a feat with a difference, when he completed a 5k run in clown shoes for Kidscan – a charity which specifically supports research into new and improve treatments for children with cancer.

    The Southport resident has been donating money from his salary for Kidscan for around three years and has also taken part in events run via the University of Salford, but this was his first solo fundraising challenge for the charity.

    His time was 12 hours 26 mins and he was 26th in his age group, for men aged 50-54.

    He said: “I am really pleased with the results, I was 15th in my age group for the swim as well as 26th in my age group overall. The best bit was the run out from the swim to transition - there were massive crowds and it was an incredible atmosphere.

    "I went for it in the swim and bike but the run really felt like a survival test.

    "The sea swim was epic even though I got knocked about a bit. There was a big swell and you could see the sun coming up over the waves. There were so many people so keeping your eyes on the buoys and keeping in a straight line was extremely difficult.

    "The start of the final bike loop was a bit daunting but I loved the fast downhills and coming into the final climbs through Saundersfoot and Tenby was mind blowing.

    "The run was incredibly tough but the downhills came at the right time before I knew it was all over, it was just a blur at the end.

    "It was the most amazing experience and I absolutely loved spending the whole day hard-racing. I'm incredibly pleased to have completed it.

    “After reading about their support for research into the specialist requirements of the treatment of cancer in children, I had to get involved.

    “Kidscan has a close involvement with researchers at the University of Salford and I do think that university research of all kinds is able to have a positive impact on everyday lives, and the relationship with Kidscan is a great example of this.

    “I have run a couple of races for Kidscan at my university such as the Vice Chancellor’s 5k Fun Run, but this Ironman challenge was the first time I’ve gone it alone. It's just as well I didn't really know what I was letting myself in for because the course is notoriously tough with a sea swim and lots of hills on the bike and run routes!”

    Martin Keelagher, chair of Kidscan Children’s Cancer Research, added: “Richard is such an inspiring individual – pushing himself to the extreme to raise money for Kidscan. We can't thank him enough for the support he has given to the charity over the years.”

    To add to his total, visit give.everydayhero.com and search for Ironman.

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