In October 2015, one of the Yorkshire Vikings Triathlon Team club members, Dave Burrows, embarked on a mammoth challenge of completing 7 sprint triathlons in 7 day consecutive days.
The event was put together to raise as much money as physically possible for The Candlelighters Trust, after a friend of the club tragically lost their little boy a few years ago. Candlelighters provided support during this terrible time, and this event was put together to give something back.
The event was a huge success, with the team raising a massive £1495.73 for the charity.
Take a look back at the event below, through the images very kindly provided by the brilliant Boxfish Photography, and the write up put together by Dave’s wife, Lucy. For more information on Boxfish Photography, please visit our sponsors page, and http://www.boxfishphotography.com/.
Special thanks also go to very talented designer Mark Scott Smith, who put together all the graphic design for event promotion. Check out more of Mark’s work at http://www.markscottsmith.com/.
Event Write Up
Well what a week. After months of training, planning and preparation, Dave Burrows and his team undertook the phenomenal challenge of seven sprint triathlons in seven consecutive days in order to raise money for The Candlelighters Trust. 7am Monday 5th to Sunday 11th October, through wind, fog, bitterly cold temperatures (and narrowly avoiding rain on several days) Dave set off to complete a 400m pool swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run. Seven times.
Candlelighters are the pre- eminent children’s charity that provides support to children battling cancer, and their families here in Yorkshire. They offer practical, emotional and financial support and have fantastic facilities in Leeds. The aim was to raise a modest £500 but the hope was always for more. So far the total is £1300 and counting.
Dave was joined on each day by various members of the Vikings; some just joining in with a swim, some pushing him through those last 5kms towards the end of the week, Dave was also supported by his Dad, Mark, on two of the bike legs and his friend, Kevin, on Tuesday’s run. And a firm fixture during the week’s proceedings was Selby Firefighter Craig Lawrence, who read about the event in The Selby Times and, as a Personal Trainer, decided he wanted to support Dave through the challenge and raise some more money. Craig joined Dave for six of the seven swim and bike legs, unable to do the final day sadly due to work commitments.
Orchestrating the full event, making sure the I’s were dotted and the t’s were crossed, as well as partaking in the weekend’s triathlons was head coach Naiomi Saunders, without whom none of the event could have gone ahead. Naiomi was responsible for booking the venue, arranging equipment (including a fantastic new Vikings gazebo for events!), health & safety and dealing with the council. Behind the scenes, Dave and the team were supported by a band of volunteers, including Heather Kennedy, head of Community Sport and Active Living team in Selby District for WLCT. Heather was there to help set up equipment, watch over proceedings and keep Dave’s various family members company whilst they cheered the athletes on. Viking team member and professional photographer Nigel Clarke was also on hand to capture the week’s events.
As Dave’s wife, I have had many roles during the build up to, and the execution of this event. Alongside the wonderfully talented graphic designer Mark Scott Smith, I have created the logo and promotional material, set up the social media pages and the fundraising page and submitted articles to the various press. During the week of the event I, alongside Dave’s Mum, sister and my parents, got up at the crack of dawn to watch over the bikes and cheer them on. And on a morning, we would all wake up at 5.30 and after he had left I would get our son ready for the childminder and a relative or the childminder would collect him for his day and I would get off to work. And on an evening I cooked a tea that was rarely eaten as he had eaten so much throughout the day and he would fall asleep on my shoulder on the sofa at 7.30 and we would end our evening at 8.30 to make sure we got enough sleep for the early start the next day. The dog was barely walked and the house was barely tidy.
But it got me thinking about how much one week long event had turned our day to day life upside down, and how much everyday life is turned upside down for those families that Candlelighters help. Despite Dave’s crazy idea to undertake this challenge, our daily lives had to continue and the same, on a much larger and harder scale, goes for those families too. Parents may still have to work, siblings will still go to school, relatives will muck in and pets will get walked. It made me as a wife and mother and us as a family sit back and think, and really appreciate the ‘normal’ family life and routine we have. And how lucky we are.
When asked what the hardest part of the week was, Dave didn’t take long to decide on the early starts. ‘’ the hardest part was probably motivating myself to keep getting up every day at 5am. Im not really a morning person!’’ He also admitted that the hardest day was the Wednesday, when three triathlons had been completed but there were still four to go. And that if it hadn’t been for his team mates and family and friends there to support him and pull him through, he might have given up. Most surprisingly, Dave achieved his personal best 400m swim on the final day, 00:07:31.
But for Dave, and all of those who got involved, whether it was partaking or simply supporting, all the week was about was raising as much money as possible. And with a target of £500, almost trebled, the outcome was even better then they hoped it could be.
The full team would like to thank all of those who have took part, donated and to the staff at Selby Leisure Centre for hosting the event.