Reporter Tom and team set for gruelling charity triathlon

Herald & Gazette reporter Tom Cotterill, centre, with dad Steve and friend, Sam Penny, left. They will all be taking on a triathlon for three charities  L23701H13
Herald & Gazette reporter Tom Cotterill, centre, with dad Steve and friend, Sam Penny, left. They will all be taking on a triathlon for three charities L23701H13
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MY ROLE as a reporter has seen me encounter some truly remarkable people taking on inspirational feats of endurance for worthy causes across country, writes Herald & Gazette reporter Tom Cotterill

Stories from families pushing their bodies to breaking point in memory of a loved one, to a 13-year-old boy taking the plunge to raise vital funds for a charity which helped save his life as an infant – it’s all had an impact.

And it’s all combined to inspire me to organise my own epic charity event for three good causes – Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, in Poling, children’s disability charity Raydar, in Littlehampton, and Jamie’s Wish, which grants life-changing requests from families with severely-ill young people.

Over the course of three days, starting from Friday of next week, my dad, Steve, 61, friend Sam Penny, 24, and I will be tackling what we have coined the Triathlon...Of Sorts – a gruelling test of endurance made up of a 112-mile cycle ride across Sussex, a ten-mile swim and finishing with a 26.2-mile marathon.

Training has been suitably tough, with regular 40-mile cycle rides, five-mile swims and half-marathons all thrown into the mix over a six-month period.

Retired Steve, who used to work at the Durrington branch of communications company BT for 20 years, said: “This is going to be a real challenge.

“I haven’t done any serious running for 35 years since my rugby days.

“I’ve got an old knee injury I’m going to have to battle through to beat this.”

I, too, will be fighting against my own knee injury which has dashed my hopes of completing my marathon in any half-decent time.

However for Sam, of Farnhurst Road, Barnham, the challenge won’t be overcoming injury, it will be seeing whether or not he can complete the event, having joined the team at the last minute.

He has had little more than a month to train but feels confident he can achieve the full distance.

“The training has been really intense,” admitted Sam.

So far we have raised more than £1,500, which will be split between the three charities.

However, we still need help to generate more cash.

To donate, send me an email: tom.cotterill@littlehamptongazette.co.uk