Hartlepool’s Matt Turnbull was one of the first to sign up for Outlaw 2017 when entries opened last month. When he walks into the regatta lake in Nottingham on 23 July next summer, however, it will be more like the end of a journey than the beginning. The 38 year old will have already completed six long-distance triathlons in the six days leading up to the start, and the Outlaw will mark the end of a week long ultra endurance challenge.
Matt wants to raise £10,000 for the Tiny Lives Special Baby Care Unit and will test himself to the limit in doing so. He said: “Inspired by the USA based athlete ‘the IronCowboy’, I wanted to create a challenge that would test my limits mentally and physically, inspire my children, inspire my local community and raise awareness and funds for an amazing charity.”
He’s completed long distance triathlons and ultra distance events already, so he has an idea of what to expect. He’ll start on 17 July in the shallow, salty waters of Hartlepool Marina’s Jackson’s Dock, and, having been impressed with the ‘atmosphere and professionalism’ at the Outlaw this summer, he’ll finish his challenge in Nottingham on 23 July.
His motivation to raise money for the Baby Care unit stems from his wife’s job as a midwife and personal tragedy. He said: “A few years ago, our close friends (and God parents to our son), sadly lost their son when he was only days old. Tiny Lives looked after baby Joshua in his final days as well as looking after the family at this terrible time.”
Matt is already heavily into his training plan and building a team around him to support with logistics and shadowing sections of the journey. He’ll cover 16.8 miles of swimming, 784 miles of cycling and 183.4 miles of running during the week.
He said: “At present, my training is focusing on developing and adapting the systems required to complete an iron distance event with plans to increase volume to cope with the demands of a multi day event. Winter training started in August, to give me the longest time possible to prepare.
“As the plan develops, I will be building opportunities to race and train longer distances over back to back days to see how my body copes with fatigue, and test recovery strategies. This will culminate in a three-day challenge in May 2017.”
He added: “I would like other athletes to join me for sections of the challenge. The courses are designed to make this very accessible, and I would like them to try and raise funds alongside me to support, or make a small donation when participating. As well as this, I am hoping to auction off any equipment donated by sporting companies, to raise further funds and I’m currently looking for donations of equipment required to complete this challenge.”
To find out more, including Matt’s proposed schedule, visit www.7ironman7.com. If you’d like to join him on the final leg at the Outlaw Triathlon, entries are currently still available for the award-winning event via www.osbevents.com.