University pals reunite to take on charity triathlon challenge

06 April, 2017

University pals reunite to take on charity triathlon challenge

Tim Albiston from Sheffield is taking on the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds with 10 of his Durham University friends,  in memory of his son Alex who very sadly died in 2010 from bone cancer, at the age of 18.

Tim and his pals are raising money for the Bone Cancer Research Trust To support. To support Tim and the team please visit their JustGiving pageCompeting as 4 separate relay teams in the standard distance event, it will be the first triathlon for most of the individuals, but it is something that they all want to do to raise money for such a worthy cause. The 11 individuals have remained great friends, despite it being over 33 years since they graduated from Durham University in the early 1980s. Read on, to hear more of their story.

Will this be your first triathlon?

This will be the first triathlon for myself and to my knowledge, all of the other members of the 4 relay teams competing in memory of Alex!

Who else is taking part with you?

All but one of the team members for the four relay teams (competing in the standard distance event) are friends who I was fortunate enough to meet during my 3 years studying at Durham University.  The eleven individuals including myself have remained great friends despite it being over the 33 years since we graduated.

Could you tell us a bit about what inspired you to take on this fantastic challenge in memory of Alex?

All of the individuals taking part in event in memory of Alex were close to Alex's story and the inspiration that he gave to all that knew him, as he battled with bone cancer, e.g. gaining top A level grades whilst undergoing lengthy periods of chemotherapy and winning a place a Cambridge University.  The importance that Alex had installed in improving awareness of bone cancer and increasing fundraising into bone cancer research has remained constant.

Ever since the day Alex was diagnosed with bone cancer, through the period of his treatment and then since the day he sadly passed away, my university friends have been there to offer their support to my family and this has manifested itself into their fundraising efforts for the Bone Cancer Research Trust.

When I heard about the opportunity to enter relay teams as part of the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds, it was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of this competitive spirit, raise some money for the Bone Cancer Research Trust and importantly have some fun at the same time.

All of us competing in the triathlon were very active in sport during our Durham days and even today we remain as competitive as ever, despite our advancing years.  When I heard about the opportunity to enter relay teams as part of the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds, it was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of this competitive spirit, raise some money for the Bone Cancer Research Trust and importantly have some fun at the same time. The event has really captured the imagination of us all and ever since we signed up several months ago, we regularly correspond (and pass jibes) on how the training is going on the Whatsapp chat group we have setup.  As we're competing in the triathlon relay event, it has also given us the opportunity for greater participation in a single charity challenge as not many of us have a marathon in our legs anymore.     

What are you most looking forward to (or feeling trepidation about) ahead of the big day?

The training to get in before the event remains the biggest worry. Our ages span 54 to 59 so this really is going to be a challenge for some us and especially those doing the swimming leg.  This said, we are all thoroughly looking forward to the day, sharing some banter, competing and hopefully seeing some good crowds along the route in Leeds. Obviously, the day will also be a superb opportunity for us all to meet up and this also includes our families coming along to support us. With team members travelling from as far afield as Cumbria, London, Newcastle and Germany, we don't get this opportunity to meet up as often as we would like.

To find out more about Bone Cancer Research Trust, including how you could fundraise for them, click here.