A Helmsley man has raised £6,000 for Yorkshire Cancer Research by completing the Dalesman Ironman Distance Triathlon.
Andrew Garside completed the gruelling challenge, which involved a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile cycle and a 26-mile marathon, in just under 14 hours.
The 56-year-old decided to take on the triathlon because he wanted to do something significant to encourage people to get involved and help fundraise for Yorkshire Cancer Research.
“It was fantastic to do something for a local charity. I’ve always been so impressed with how Yorkshire Cancer Research has helped the Yorkshire community and is rooted in understanding diagnosis and treatment in the region.
“Cancer has a horrible habit of creeping up out of nowhere and it affects so many lives,” he continued. “It is important we continue to work hard in Yorkshire to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.”
The charity is a big part of Andrew’s life. His wife, Fiona Lovell, began volunteering with Yorkshire Cancer Research after Andrew’s sister sadly passed away of pancreatic cancer, and she now chairs the charity’s Helmsley Volunteer Group.
The couple have also recently lost two good friends to cancer, so the charity remains particularly important to them.
Andrew said: “My wife Fiona and the team at the Helmsley Volunteer Group work so hard to put on events and fundraise for Yorkshire Cancer Research, especially through the challenges of Covid-19. It was time that I contributed to such a great charity.”
Although Andrew’s fundraising target was initially set at £1,000, it wasn’t long before this was surpassed and almost £3,000 was raised. Andrew and his wife chose to match the generous donations of friends and family, bringing the total raised to £6,000.
Andrew is no stranger to triathlons, having taken on shorter challenges for the past few years, but this was his first full-length attempt.
He began bright and early, with the swim beginning at 6am, before his cycling route took him through the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.
“The Dalesman event was my first full distance triathlon and a major goal that I have been working towards for over a year. I felt pretty comfortable through the swim and the bike ride, and then started to suffer towards the end of the run,” he said. “I was so relieved to finish it - and before it got dark!”