Triathlon stretching the length of the country to end with Great North Run

A total of eighteen men will be tackling the "Toontotown" challenge which began yesterday with them swimming a mile in a hotel in London

Team members of the Toontotown triathlon challenge
Team members of the Toontotown triathlon challenge

A team of dedicated fundraisers will be taking part in a triathlon stretching the length of the country.

A total of eighteen men will be tackling the “Toontotown” challenge which began yesterday with them swimming a mile in a hotel in London.

This morning, the group set off from the capital on their bikes to embark on a 400-mile ride up to Newcastle with the aim of arriving on Friday afternoon.

To round their gruelling physical test off they will then take on the 13.1 mile Bupa Great North Run on Sunday.

Det Con Giles Evans from Northumbria Police is the man behind the event, which began in 2010.

The challenge began yesterday with the team swimming a mile in a hotel in London
The challenge began yesterday with the team swimming a mile in a hotel in London
 

The 48-year-old, from Bedlington, Northumberland, said: “I lost a friend to cancer a few years ago so I decided to do a charity bike ride from Newcastle to where I’m originally from in West Wales for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

“I did that and then I got talking with a friend who had done a bike ride for Help for Heroes with all the servicemen and women and he said how much he’d enjoyed that so we got together a few friends and organised another ride and it’s gone on from there.

“At last year’s event, which was the third one, that’s when we really went for it and raised £22,500 for Help for Heroes.” This year’s Toontotown event is set to be harder and more gruelling than any of the previous and Giles admits that most of the team are more than a little bit nervous about the final leg running with thousands of others from Newcastle to South Shields.

He said: “I haven’t been worried about the swim or bike ride that much but I’m very worried about the Great North Run.

“I will be hanging on at the end but at the end of the day we’re doing this for charity.”

Members of the team are all raising funds for various different charities personal to them and between them they already have around £16,000 in the pot.

Members of the team at the Angel of the North
Members of the team at the Angel of the North
 

Giles will be handing his money over to Help for Heroes.

“When you visit the Help for Heroes recovery centre in Catterick and actually see these men and women and speak to them it puts things in perspective. We might suffer a few hours of pain doing the triathlon but some of them have to live with a life time of pain.”

As well as raising money the Toontotown clan are keen to enjoy themselves every step of the way.

Giles added: “I’m really looking forward to the Great North Run. have heard the atmosphere is great and its good to have something like this on your doorstep.”

Giles and his fellow triathletes will be updating their Twitter account throughout the week. To follow them its @toontotown. To see the full list of charities they will be supporting and to donate, go to www.toontotown.co.uk

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