75-year-old Alex Heron, a GB Triathlete from Mumbles, Wales, is set to take on the Tenby Ironman this September to raise money for APP.
Alex was 64 when he began his triathlon career in 2012, and he now hopes to set a new record as the first 75–79-year-old category entrant to complete the gruelling Welsh contest – one of the world’s toughest Ironman races – in September 2023. Alex will also be running in the Swansea Half Ironman on 16th July.
He said: “For all of my active life I have stubbornly said I will never do a full Ironman! There really is nothing to recommend it except for the promise of getting my first manly tattoo on the back of rather puny and rapidly shrinking calves.”
The Tenby Ironman consists of a 3.8km sea swim, a 180km cycle race and finishes with a challenging 42km marathon run.
It’s a tough challenge for anyone, but Alex believes it’s worth going back on his commitment to never put himself through a full Ironman for charity Action on Postpartum Psychosis.
I have seen first-hand, and from the outset, the amazing work of Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP). Under its CEO, my daughter, Dr Jess Heron, I have been able to follow the amazing work the team does and the huge difference they make for women and families who, often completely out of the blue, struggle with the devastating experience of postpartum psychosis.
Postpartum psychosis (PP) is a severe but treatable form of mental illness that occurs after having a baby and affects 1400 new mums in the UK each year. APP offers information, training, and peer support, facilitates groundbreaking research, raises awareness and campaigns for improved services. Its life changing peer support-network helps women and families affected by postpartum psychosis to feel understood, supported and less isolated.
Alex added: “I’ve still got a lot of training to finish before September comes around, but, while a full Ironman presents a huge challenge to me personally, it is nothing compared with the family impact of postpartum psychosis – and that’s something we can all help to alleviate through awareness raising, fundraising and campaigning – three things that APP does so exceptionally well."
To support Alex on his amazing mission to become the first person in the 75-79 age group to complete the Tenby Triathlon visit his JustGiving page.
Alex's grandaughter, Beth, has designed this leaflet to help raise awareness of her amazing grandad! Please do share.