APP are incredibly honoured that Team GB Triathlete Alex Heron is taking on an unbelievable, record breaking Ironman challenge for us this year.
He shares his inspirational story here:
'I began my triathlon career in 2012 at age 64 with MVH triathlon club in Derbyshire. Like an ageing idiot, 11 years later I have successfully applied to compete in the 75 -79 age group category for Ironman Wales this September, 2023. 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.
Tenby Ironman is one of the toughest full Ironman races in the world and has NEVER BEEN COMPLETED by a person in the 75-79 age group. It consists of a sea swim of 3.8 kilometres, a cycle race of 180 kilometres, ending with a full 42 kilometre marathon run. But the Welsh are ‘ard and their triathletes and runners (at Celtic Tri and 3 M’s Gorseinon Running club ) have embraced me; they have believed in this stringy ancient Irishman because I give them cake and anyway they smell revenge for the rugby.
I think I’m a competent triathlete; I think this because there is a shed at the bottom of my garden in Mumbles which I prefer to call a gym and it is festooned with impressive (if admittedly rusting) medals - even those hard earned British and European ones. But, there really is no guarantee that I will finish this race in the required time of under 17 hours. So : If you choose to donate/sponsor me you might prefer to do a “single sum” for finishing the event or an amount per kilometre.
Why attempt it then ? Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) is a registered UK charity. I have seen from the outset and at first hand what amazing work its brilliant team (under its CEO - my daughter Dr. Jess Heron) does for those Mums who, often out of the blue, are assaulted by PP..
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 ground breaking 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. This charity leads the way in the field of PP and its growth in ensuring greater public understanding has been truly amazing.
Still so much to do - but though a full Ironman presents a huge challenge to me personally it is as nothing compared with the family impact of Postpartum Psychosis.'
Please support Alex on his amazing mission to become the first person in the 75-79 age group to complete the Tenby Triathlon by visiting his JustGiving page.