AN Ironman is pushing himself to the limit by competing in two of the mammoth challenges within weeks to raise funds for a Bolton charity.
Tex Leece, aged 41, will have little rest after taking part in an Ironman in Nice, France, on Sunday as he will be getting back on his bike to train for the Bolton Ironman on Sunday, July 20. Mr Leece, from Farnworth, a driver for Warburton’s, is taking on the challenges to raise money for Bolton ICD Support charity’s defibs4Bolton campaign, to place defibrillators across the borough. He hopes to raise £1,500.
The course will involve a 2.4 mile swim in the Mediterranean Sea, a 112-mile cycle and a 26.2 mile run. He has previously completed Bolton Ironman twice. Mr Leece said: “I originally just wanted to do one Ironman man this year — one abroad. When they announced Bolton Ironman was taking place again this year I was in a tattoo shop getting the Ironman logo put on my left calf when Jo, my wife, called to tell me, and I thought I had to sign up for it. The pain of getting the tattoo wasn’t far off the pain of completing an Ironman. I decided to raise money for defibs4Bolton because it seems like a good cause as the charity wants to get defibrillators in every school in Bolton.”
The father-of-two will be spurred on by his family who are going out to support him along with his daughter, Mia, aged 11, who will be taking part in an IronKids event which involves a swim in the sea and a run. He has been training between 10 and 18 hours a week but vows to take a rest for at least a year after both Ironmans. He is expecting Nice Ironman to be the most challenging due to the heat, the sea swim and challenging cycle course.
Mr Leece and his family almost suffered a setback to their holiday as daughter Mia’s passport did not arrive until Monday — days before they were due to fly to France. But Yasmin Qureshi, Bolton South East MP, stepped in to help save the trip.
Tracey Wilkinson, fundraising manager at Bolton ICD Support Group, said: “We are delighted that Tex has chosen to support us in committing to complete two Ironman events in two months. He is an incredible guy and we can’t thank him enough for raising awareness and funds on our behalf. The defibs4bolton campaign started 18 months ago in which we have donated 21 defibrillators to date and have another 12 to donate over the forthcoming months, making our total 33 defibrillators. We cannot continue the work we are doing to make Bolton a safer place to live without people like Tex willing to be committed to supporting our cause.”