Starting on Saturday 1st April 2017, Keith Diaper, a triathlete from Hedge End in Southampton began an epic challenge; Ironcause.
He has been completing one middle distance triathlon – 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile cycle and then a 13.1 mile run – every Saturday and Sunday and will continue to do so for a total of six months. That means he will be covering 3655.6 miles, over 52 events. That’s about the same distance as travelling from Southampton to New York.
The reason for taking on such a challenge is to help raise awareness and funds for the charity ‘Hypermobility Syndromes Association (HMSA)’ as his wife, PIppa has one of the conditions covered by the charity, called ‘Ehlers Danlos Syndrome’.
Keith explains, ‘this condition means there is a defect in her collagen which causes her joints to dislocates on a regular basis. She is in daily pain and experiences fatigue. There is currently no cure for EDS and there is a possibility that she will one day use a wheelchair. Pippa was misdiagnosed for many years. The health professionals carried out many tests but thought Pippa had Fibromyalgia, due to a few similar symptoms. After many more visits to specialists over an almost 3-year period, she was finally diagnosed with EDS. Following this we came across the HMSA’s website, everything my wife was going through was listed along with lots of resources to help her cope.’
By teaming up with the HMSA, Keith aims to bring wider awareness of their work.
Keith is now embarking on a 6-week phase of official events and bespoke events arranged by HERC Triathlon and Portsmouth Triathletes. He said, ‘the support from the triathlon community has been amazing, everyone who I’ve raced with have been so encouraging, many have gone home and donated. Triathlon is a family and one I’m proud to be a member of.’
All funds raised along the way will help the HMSA with their work, which covers research, support and education and you can find out more about Keith’s progress on his website.