Dad to complete ironman triathlon to raise money for children’s ward

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A local physiotherapist and father-of-three is undertaking his ultimate challenge – to complete his first ironman distance triathlon in less than 12 hours, all while raising funds for the NHS hospital Trust he works for.

44-year-old Gordon Mitchell from Eaglescliffe is a regular athlete, having participated in triathlon events for years now, culminating in a half ironman that he completed in five hours and 16 minutes.

Now he is challenging himself to take part in a full ironman distance event in July to raise a target of £1,000 for the children’s ward at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

Gordon’s motivation in reaching his target is due the excellent care one of his sons received on the children’s ward whilst being treated for pneumococcal meningitis.

Gordon said: “Ever since Justin spent time on the children’s ward at North Tees, I set myself the challenge of raising some money for them so that children who are ill can have something to do while they get better.

“This money is going towards something fun like an Xbox – something meaningful to the children.”

Described by Gordon as ‘the biggest challenge of my life’, the ironman distance Outlaw Triathlon boasts 2.4 miles swimming in a lake and 112 miles cycling before taking part in a marathon run.

And his family – his wife Leanne Mitchell, who also works in physiotherapy in the Trust, four-year-old son Joshua, six-year-old daughter Isla and 18-year-old Justin – will all be crossing the finishing line alongside him.

A musculoskeletal physiotherapist at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust for over 11 years, he has dedicated much of his life to fitness and nutrition.

Gordon continued: “I used to be into football – that was my social activity, my de-stressor, my medicine for life. But as I got older, I needed something else to fill that void and started doing triathlons.

“Ironman was really the next step up for me. That’s just how I am – that’s how my brain works. I just want to push and push and push myself.”

Gordon has been training daily for the ironman since December last year but has been training for triathlons and consistently improving his skill and completion time for years.

Suzi Campbell, fundraising coordinator at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to Gordon for supporting our charity through our children’s ward.

“Although it’s his first ironman there’s no doubt he’ll give it everything he can and we’ll be cheering him on the whole way.”

Gordon will be completing ironman distance Outlaw Triathlon on Sunday 24 July in Nottingham. To support his cause and raise money for the children’s ward at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, visit JustGiving.

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