He’s had an amazing year, taking on challenges for danceaid and helped make a real difference to children’s lives!
Let us introduce you to Greg Rochford, who has spent most of 2015 doing insane things to raise money for danceaid.
On 27th June Greg Rochford took on the Celtman – a long-distance EXTREME Triathlon to raise money for danceaid.
So what is the Celtman?
The distances are similar to that of an Ironman and the terrain severe as it takes place in a remote part of Scotland. Anyone taking on the Celtman has to face a (cold) sea-loch swim of 3.8km, an arduous 202km road cycle including 2000M of climbing and finally a 42km mountainous run (basically a marathon distance!). It requires endurance, stamina, great bike handling skills and off-road running experience. In fact it’s so tough that a support crew is mandatory – and you are not allowed to run up and over the mountain without a support runner.
Having only been running for just over 2 years, riding a bike for 1.5 years and only completing his first ever sprint triathlon 1 year ago, it was a big step up for Greg to make and he put in well over 200 hours of training in the months leading up to the event… a big commitment in itself.
I am pleased to be able to say that Greg finished his race in 15 hours and 46 minutes, a fantastic time anyway, and even more so as it was his first ever Ironman Triathlon! He was looking fit and remained in good spirits throughout. He took on a long swim in a very cold Loch at 5am, he spent an entire working day and then some (9hrs 21mins) in the saddle and then despite injuring his hip flexor early on, ran 36km on foot up a mountainside and across some of the toughest and least spoilt terrain you’ll ever see.
The atmosphere and camaraderie amongst the competitors was fantastic, the location was amazing and going up and over the mountain course with Greg was hugely enjoyable and a privilege. I only joined him on the final section as a support runner but even that was probably the hardest 18-20k I’ve ever done – it really did feel like you were battling nature at its most beautiful (quite a lot of the time it was only the odd footprint from a previous competitor that gave any indication of the ‘path’ you were supposed to follow).
I consider myself pretty fit but I was really tired after it and that was only a fraction of the course – so it puts into perspective just how much effort has to be put in to complete this challenge, and how incredibly well Greg has done!!
Greg’s Challenges were far from over though…
The Mankini Challenge
As a key part of his fundraising, Greg had been trying to think of ways to inspire his friends, family and colleagues to give as much as they could so he came up with a challenge. If he hit certain targets by certain times then he would do a mini-triathlon in a mankini (the ‘swimwear’ made famous by Borat).
Somewhat worryingly it worked! So, 1 week after the Celtman Greg found himself at Stanborough Lakes near Welwyn Garden City wearing very little. During the next 45 minutes or so he swam 400m around the lake, rode 5km on public roads (which we’d imagine was very cold) and ran 1.5km around the lake to finish off.
But Greg wasn’t done quite yet…
2 Triathlons in 2 Days
Along with 2 other danceaid supporters, Greg decided to take on 2 Triathlons in 2 days at this year’s London Triathlon at Excel. Each of them chose a slightly different set of 2 races, but for Greg it meant 2 days in a row of swimming in the Thames.
On the Saturday Greg took the Swim leg of a Team Olympic distance Triathlon before taking on his own individual Olympic Triathlon on the Sunday.
All-in-all Greg has raised nearly £2000 for Danceaid with his activities and we can’t thank him enough. He now has official “danceaid hero” status!