Well what a week. After months of training, planning and preparation, Pocklington-born Dave Burrows and his team undertook the phenomenal challenge of seven sprint triathlons in seven consecutive days in order to raise money for The Candlelighters Trust.
Earlier this month, through wind, fog, bitterly cold temperatures (and narrowly avoiding rain on several days) Dave set off to complete a 400m pool swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run. Seven times.
Candlelighters is the pre-eminent children’s charity when it comes to providing support to children battling cancer, and their families here in Yorkshire. It offers practical, emotional and financial support and have fantastic facilities in Leeds.
The aim was to raise a modest £500 but the hope was always there for more. So far the total is £1,300 and counting.
Dave was joined on each day by various members of the Vikings; some just joining in with a swim, some pushing him through those last 5kms towards the end of the week.
Orchestrating the full event, as well as partaking in the weekend’s triathlons, was head coach Naiomi Saunders, without whom none of the event could have gone
ahead. Viking team member and professional photographer Nigel Clarke was also on hand to capture the week’s events.
As Dave’s wife, I have had many roles during the build up and execution of this event.
Alongside the wonderfully talented graphic designer Mark Scott Smith, I have created the logo and promotional material, set up the social media pages and the fundraising page and submitted articles to the local media, including the Pock Post.
During the week of the event I joined Dave’s mum, his sister and my parents at the crack of dawn to watch over the bikes and cheer them on.
On a morning, we would all wake up at 5.30pm and after he had left I would get our son ready for the childminder or a relative then I would get off to work.
In the evening I cooked a tea that was rarely eaten as Dave had eaten so much throughout the day and he would fall asleep on my shoulder on the sofa at 7.30pm.
The dog was barely walked and the house was barely tidied.
It got me thinking about how much one week long event had turned our day-to-day life upside down, and how much everyday life is turned upside down for those families who Candlelighters help.
Despite Dave’s crazy idea to undertake this challenge, our daily lives had to continue and the same, on a much larger and harder scale, goes for those families too.
Parents may still have to work, siblings will still go to school, relatives will muck in and pets will get walked. It made me as a wife and mother and us as a family sit back and think, and really appreciate the ‘normal’ family life and routine we have – and how lucky we are.
When asked what the hardest part of the week was, Dave didn’t take long to decide on the early starts!
He said: “The hardest part was probably motivating myself to keep getting up every day at 5am. I’m not really a morning person!”
The hardest day was the Wednesday, when three triathlons had been completed but there were still four to go.
Dave said that if it hadn’t been for his teammates and the family and friends there to support him and pull him through, he might have given up.
Most surprisingly, Dave achieved his personal best 400m swim on the final day in 00:07:31.
But for Dave, and all of those who got involved, whether it was partaking or simply supporting, all the week was about was raising as much money as possible.
With the target of £500 almost trebled, the outcome was even better then they hoped it could be.
The full team would like to thank all of those who have took part, donated and to the staff at Selby Leisure Centre for hosting the event.
Visit www.justgiving.com/7triathlons7days to donate.