Amateur triathlete raises £7,000 for children’s hospice

James Snook
James Snook
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A man from Portsmouth completed the gruelling Iron Distance Triathlon, raising more than £7,000 for a children’s hospice.

James Snook, 37, took part in the 16-hour race, which involved getting up at 5am to complete a 2.4-mile swim in Weymouth Bay, before cycling 112 miles in the Dorset countryside, ending with a 26.2-mile marathon run.

All the money James collected from the event will be donated to the Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice in Arundel.

The hospice cares for more than 300 children who have progressive life-limiting conditions.

James chose the charity after his friends Steve and Louise Rooke had received a lot of support from Chestnut Tree House while their daughter Amber was cared for by volunteers at the hospice during her fight against Neuroblastoma.

He said: ‘I was hugely saddened to hear of Lou and Steve losing their beautiful and fun-filled daughter.

‘When you first hold your newborn child in your arms, no parent expects that their life will end so soon.

‘Lou and Steve told me of the fantastic support that Chestnut Tree House provided for them and provides for other families.

‘I knew deep in my soul that I had to do something to help this great organisation.’

This is the first time James has ever done a challenge of this nature, and he managed to cross the finish line in a time of 15 hours and 15 minutes.

This was also a personal triumph for the fundraiser, who had shed four stone to get into shape.

‘Two years ago I was almost four stone heavier and couldn’t even run to the end of the road,’ added James.

‘Since then, in training I swam over 250 miles, cycled approximately 6,000 miles and ran around 1,500 miles.

‘I had never done anything like this before and you think, why would any sane person do this?’

It costs well over £3.5 million each year to provide all of Chestnut Tree House’s care services.

For more information visit chestnut-tree-house.org.uk.