Holly Kelly (32) and Colin McAuley (50) are fighting back, with support from celebrity sports stars, including Sir Mo Farrah and Becky Adlington and the Bannatyne health club in Tamworth.
While competing in the Nottingham Outlaw triathlon in May 2018, Colin suffered a serious head injury and spent time in intensive care at the city’s Queens Medical Centre. Months more rehabilitation followed until eventually he was allowed home to continue the long road to recovery.
Determined to raise £10,000 for the Intensive Care Unit, Holly has embarked on a series of challenges, from abseiling 80ft down Queens Medical Centre through to triathlons, despite needing to learn to swim to take part.
Holly said: “I wanted to give something back to the hospital that looked after Colin so well, as well as supporting me at an incredibly difficult time. It seemed the natural thing to do to try and continue with the sports that Colin had dedicated himself to, even though I had very little experience.
“So many people have helped us along the way and supported us, and I am amazed! From the first fun run, to running 50 miles in the week Col turned 50 and the London Marathon, to a middle-distance triathlon. I now have my sights set on an Ironman.”
Holly continued: “Recovery for Colin is triathlon-based, and he is working hard at the Bannatyne health club to get stronger. All he wants to do is race again and he uses the bike at the gym to help him train.
“He has limited use of one of his arms and to help his recovery, Mark Reynolds, general manager at Bannatyne Tamworth arranged a swimming lesson with Becky Adlington which was very helpful. Colin is also inspired by a running number signed by Sir Mo Farrah.
“I never dreamed when he was in intensive care all those weeks that we would both be at the gym training together and I would be taking Colin’s place in triathlons! I completed the Cotswold113 Middle Distance Triathlon recently, which was a huge thing to undertake and it was so hard, but I wasn’t ever going to give up. I can now officially call myself a triathlete.
“There’s still a long way to go but we’re both determined to keep challenging ourselves. We’re currently training for the Superhero Triathlon. I am towing Colin around the swim in a boat, we are using a side-by-side three-wheeled tandem bike for the cycle leg and we will use his wheelchair and a little bit of walking for the run leg.
“The event is on 17th August and it’s the only event I’ve seen that caters for someone like Colin and his limitations. You can have sidekicks to help at every stage whilst using whatever equipment you need to help get you round. Colin is very excited, and it means he can get back to triathlons and doing what he loves again.”
Mark Reynolds, general manager at Bannatyne Tamworth, said: “Holly and Colin are an inspiration to us all. From the greatest adversity, Colin is fighting to regain his strength and Holly is pushing herself to the limits to raise money for the medical people who helped Colin.
“I’m proud that we can play a small part in their journey.”
You can donate to Holly and Colin’s JustGiving page here:
"Theres still a long way to go but were both determined to keep challenging ourselves. Were currently training for the Superhero Triathlon. "
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