A group of Harpenden men are are uniting to take on an epic 70.3 mile triathlon in memory of a close friend. Colin Barnes, 55, was diagnosed with an incurable and life limiting brain cancer in 2012 and and died in August 2013.
Tony Russell, 56, son Dan, 26, brothers David, 49, and Peter, 54, along with friendAndrew Brown, 26, are all taking on the challenge. The five men, all former Roundwood Park students are coming together to raise £50,000 for the charity Headcase.
Since Colin’s death, Tony has stopped at nothing to raise funding and awareness, with funds already totaling more than £40,000. Tony said “we are trying to help the people less fortunate than us. It helps me when I am struggling”. The money raised so far has contributed to a much needed clinical trial but Tony is eager to reach the £50k target. He added “I want to raise as much awareness as possible . This type of cancer only gets 1% of government funding. I’ve been to the House of Lords with Headcase to lobby as this cause does not get as much money as it should”.
Tony and Dan have already run triathlons in Abu Dhabi and Nice but this is the first time the others have taken the 70.3mile half Ironman plunge. Tony said “it’s a bit of pain for a lot of gain”.
It will take place in May in Mallorca, with the five men swimming, running and cycling alongside other participants. Tony added “nothing will stop us having a go and we will not only raise awareness but hopefully also a ton of money, which in due course may just provide an extension on the current life expectancy and, who knows , at some point maybe even a cure”.
To follow their journey and for information on how to donate , their blog is available at www.headcase-ironman.me/fundraising
Article courtesy of Sophie Crockett; Herts Advertiser [ Harp.Ed.]; 17 April 2014.