Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Castles Challenges Triathlon

One particular headline in today's Evening Chronicle read "Marathon man helps Robbie Elliott prepare for ride". The article was in relation to my participation in next month's Castle Challenge Triathlon. There is a twist to the tale in that it's in relay form and I'm doing the running leg following former Newcastle United full back, Robbie Elliott's bike ride and triathlete Phil Gray's swim.

It's the event's 4th year and I'm very much looking forward to running through a very scenic course around Alnwick Castle (pictured below). Prior to my running leg, Robbie will have cycled from Bamburgh Castle with Phil doing the swim in the North Sea.

The article in the Chronicle read "HIS epic cross-Atlantic trip inspired the Geordie nation – now marathon man Mark Allison is helping an ex-Toon hero. Former Magpies defender Robbie Elliott is cycling across Europe in a heartfelt tribute to Sir Bobby Robson. And he’s teamed up with charity champion Mark to prepare for an epic journey this autumn.

Robbie’s trip, called Bike for Bobby, will see him and his pal Phil Gray cycle 3,500 miles non-stop visiting all of the clubs Sir Bobby managed during a celebrated coaching career. And next month the duo will join Mark – better known as Run Geordie Run – as they compete in the 2012 Castles Challenge Triathlon on July 28 and 29 with Allison running, Robbie cycling and Phil swimming.

I follow Robbie on Twitter and as someone who’s undertaken a big challenge in the past it’s great to see his journey taking place,” said Mark, who will embark on his own marathon trek across Australia next year.

The fact that he started out as a footballer and now he’s attempting to become an endurance cyclist is fascinating. He’s seeing the miles building up and the event drawing closer and I’m right behind him all of the way.

I like following lots of people’s journeys on Twitter and Robbie’s is one of them. It’s a bit different, very ambitious and a great journey to follow.”

It was only after a meeting with Mark, 40, of Shotley Bridge, Robbie decided to set up The Robbie Elliott Foundation (TREF) and raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthough Breast Cancer through Bike For Bobby. 

Mark said: “The fact that I inspired him to do Bike For Bobby is really humbling and I was very flattered when he asked me to be part of his team for the Castles Challenge. I’ll be looking at doing the run in around one hour 50 minutes and I’m sure he could have found someone faster. But it’s come full circle. It was after I met him following my trek across America that he decided he wanted to do something big.” 

Gosforth-born Robbie, 38, said: “When I saw what Mark had done and how much money he had raised I felt genuinely moved. I’d always wanted to do something similar and he gave me the inspiration to launch my foundation and embark upon Bike For Bobby.”.

The challenge associated with my usual type of running events are to get from A to B one day and then be able to get from B to C the next day and so on. This particular event is all about getting to the finish line as quick as I possibly can. With less than 6 weeks to go until the Castle Challenge Triathlon it's so important that I make best use of the time that I have left to train. I don't want to let Robbie or Phil down. Let's hope that is reflected in my training.