One of our amazing supporters and team member at the Wessex Cardiac Centre, Richard Lewis, took on the IRONMAN Wales a couple of weeks ago, in a fantastic effort to raise funds for Wessex Heartbeat.
 
Not only does Richard's connection with the charity stem from his professional life, but also personally too. His brother-in-law suffered from a congenital heart defect and was one of the first children to be supported by Wessex Heartbeat.
Richard and his family also supported the charity when his Wife tragically lost her father; choosing to donate to Heartbeat in lieu of buying flowers.
 
Richard was kind enough to send over some words on what he experienced during this incredible challenge:
The event, was tough (as to be expected). The sea swim, while the waves were flat, it was a washing machine of arms and legs, I had a small panic after 200 meters fearing I couldn’t continue after a string of bashes to my face while trying to swim. I was able to pull myself together and re direct my focus on the task in hand, successfully completing the swim in 1 hour 26 minutes. Next the Bike, my history of bike races is not good, the last race I did I ended up crashing after 40 miles and had to run with my bike to complete the course. This time however, I experienced a puncture, a slow puncture, a dropped chain which knocked out gearing for a time and a long wait while another rider was scooped in to an ambulance (they were fine other than a broken clavicle.) But.. the most important thing is… I made it round all 122 miles in 7 hourss 23 minutes without having to walk any of it. This was a disappointing time compared to my hopes, but I was in the next part of the race, the marathon. This is the bit I was looking forward to, a hilly marathon course but had lots of feed stations. I deployed my game winning tactic of walking through every aid station topping up with every drink, gel and snack I could put my hands on, then off with the run again. I finished the marathon in 3 hours 48 minutes, 12 minutes faster than my dream time of 4 hours. I was absolutely ‘buzzing’ as I crossed the line in a total of 13 hours and 4 minutes.
 
We are so very proud of Richard for his efforts, both mentally and physically, for what must of been an immensely draining day.
 
It wasn't all in vain however, with Richard managing to raise an incredible £1,016 (and counting!). Please show your support to Richard for challenging himself and putting himself through such a difficult experience - all in order to raise money for Wessex Heartbeat.