Boston runner’s double Ironman charity effort

The iron doctor ... GP Chris Cope crosses the line with children Esme and Caleb.
The iron doctor ... GP Chris Cope crosses the line with children Esme and Caleb.

“It’s like swimming in the Witham from Anton’s Gowt to the Stump, then cycling to London, then doing the London Marathon.”

This is how Boston runner Chris Cope, 35, has described the gruelling charity fundraiser ahead of him – an iron-distance triathlon.

Heatwave? What heatwave? Chris during the bike section of his first of epic charity effort.

Heatwave? What heatwave? Chris during the bike section of his first of epic charity effort.

And to make the feat even more impressive, it will be his second one in just six weeks.

The Boston and District Athletic Club member is taking on the challenges in aid of Diabetes UK and the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance.

They comprise a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26-mile run, all to be completed within 17 hours.

The ex-Boston Grammar School pupil took on the first one – The Outlaw, in Nottingham – at the end of last month.

His preparations for the challenge were disrupted by an ankle injury earlier in the month and then by being knocked off his bike when a car pulled out in front of him.

Despite this summer’s heatwave, Chris was met with strong winds and heavy rain on the day.

Setting off with almost 1,000 others at 6am, he finished the swim section in 137th place in a time of 1hr5mins.

The bike ride, done in 4hrs 53mins, saw him climb to 15th.

After the run, though, which he completed in a time of 3hrs 5mins, Chris had risen to third.

He crossed the finish line, 9hrs 10mins after he set off, with his children by his side.

He said: “The smile on my face had been there from start to finish, well maybe apart from the swim, but it was a great way to end the day going down the funnel with my kids.

“I had no idea I had finished in third until I crossed the line. Completely unexpected, but shows that the six-month training paid off well!”

Chris, who gave ‘massive thanks’ to his family for their support, faces his next iron-distance triathlon – Ironman Wales, in Tenby – on Sunday, September 9.

* The iron-distance triathlons are being completed in aid of two causes close to Chris’ heart.

Chris was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 14 and says Diabetes UK was a ‘great source of support’ to him and his family at the time.

He describes the air ambulance, meanwhile, as a ‘great service for our area’.

Chris is familiar with it not just through growing up in Lincolnshire, but also through his role as a GP in Nottinghamshire, where he now lives.

“Several of my patients have been massively helped by this service when in times of emergency need,” he said.

You can donate to Chris at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Christopher-Cope2