Woman put to the test with triathlon to fund dog charity

READY TO GO Deborah Herridge with her Canine Partners pup-in-training, Seaford
READY TO GO Deborah Herridge with her Canine Partners pup-in-training, Seaford

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DETERMINED Deborah Herridge will swim, row and cycle 44 miles to raise cash for a dog helper charity.

The 44-year-old from Lee-on-the-Solent will put herself to the test with a gym-based triathlon in May to raise cash for Canine Partners.

A former puppy-parent, she has helped train selected dogs to perform tasks for people with disabilities.

She trained Seaford, pictured, who when fully trained will be able to load and unload washing machines, helping the disabled and ill.

But now Deborah has been concentrating on her own training, hitting the David Lloyd gym at Port Solent, Portsmouth, five or six days a week.

Since starting in January she has swum 36 miles, which is 2,406 lengths of the pool, rowed 92-and-a-half miles and cycled 343 miles.

Now every third week she will do a mini-triathlon.

It will see her complete a four-mile row one week, a 36-mile bike ride in another and a four-mile swim in rotation.

Then on May 24 she will put them altogether at the gym for what she is calling the Solent Triathlon Challenge.

It covers the same distance of rowing the Solent, riding around the Isle of Wight and back to then swim across the Solent.

She said: ‘It’s non-stop – it’s practically every day. I was completely inspired by the rowers in the Paralympics, so I started a rowing programme just afterwards. I found myself getting fitter and fitter and I thought “gosh, I wouldn’t mind doing something a little more challenging”.

‘Eventually I want to do it across the Solent. That’s a long-term thing, either next year or the year after.’

She aims to raise £1,000, which will be split between Canine Partners, and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, as her Coventry-based friend’s daughter Nancy Harvey, five, suffers from the disease.