Charity triathlon (with a twist!)

Local athletes, including Olympic silver medallist Heather Fell, attempt to summit the height of two of the world’s highest mountains

Vibe Fitness charity fundraising event

Vibe Fitness charity fundraising event

Intrepid athletes from Vibe Fitness Bath are set to scale the heights of both Everest and Kilimanjaro this weekend – without leaving the city, let alone the country! The special mountaineering challenge will take place on Sunday July 1 in Widcombe to raise money for local charity Sporting Family Change.

“We wanted a challenge that was tough but achievable,” commented Paul Ransome, Bath based triathlon coach and founder of Vibe Fitness, who qualified and raced in the Ironman World Championships in Kona last year. So the team’s target is to reach the top of Everest on bikes (8848m) and Kilimanjaro (5895m) running – by doing hill reps up Ralph Allen Drive in relay teams of two. Meanwhile staff from Sporting Family Change will be rowing a marathon (42.2km) to complete the triathlon with a twist – helped by members of the families they work with.

Previous charity challenges from Bath based personal trainers and award winning triathletes – Paul Ransome, Simon Ridley and Joey Rossi – have included a 24 hour watt bike, a 24 hour triple Ironman and a Bath to Paris triathlon which raised over £1300 for the National Osteoporosis Society. “We’ve conquered time, we’ve conquered distance – now the sky’s the limit as we conquer height!” said Paul, who will be joined by his colleagues, athletes from his Zoot Athlos Triathlon Team, and Olympic silver medallist turned triathlete and Global Triathlon Network presenter Heather Fell who he coaches.

The challenge will take place on the same day as Widcombe midsummer street Party. “We’re hoping to get lots of support from people enjoying the bands, food and drink stalls and other entertainment on offer,” continued Paul. “Please come and cheer us on and throw a few coins in our collection buckets.” The team are also encouraging local cyclists and runners to bring along their bikes and/or trainers and Garmin and help out by doing a rep of Ralph Allen Drive. “We’ve got prizes up for grabs too! Anyone who sets a new King or Queen of the Mountain on Strava on the day (bike or run) will win their choice of either two free one-hour personal training sessions with Vibe fitness, or a specialist Retul motion capture bike fit, or one months Endurance Coaching including a personalised plan.” There will also be four Carnac road helmets awarded to the fastest male and female of the day up Ralph Allen Drive, and the most reps completed.

Sporting Family Change use sport to empower, inspire and motivate local families into making positive life-long lifestyle changes. “It’s an ethos which we are behind 100%” revealed Paul. “We know how much sport has made a difference to our lives, not just physically, but mentally too. Like Sporting Family Change, we think sport should be accessible to all and welcome the opportunity to give something back to the local community. Plus it’s the perfect excuse for my coached athletes to get some hill training reps in during race season!”

Jimmy Deane, former Bath Rugby player and founder of Sporting family change said the charity was looking forward to the marathon-mountain challenge. “We are proud of our long standing partnership with Vibe Fitness. As well as the families on our programmes, I’ve personally benefited from the amazing training they offer.” In fact, in 2016 the Vibe Fitness team helped Jimmy and 11 of his colleagues, family and friends get fit for another Sporting Family Change fundraiser (and the inspiration behind Sunday’s event) – climbing the real Mount Kilimanjaro. “Crucially their culture and beliefs are the same as ours – connecting communities and creating opportunities for local people to be more active in a fun and relaxed environment.” All the money raised will support Sporting Family Change’s HOPE project – a programme which offers health opportunities to families through physical education and nutrition advice.

The marathon-mountain challenge starts at 8am in Widcombe on Sunday July 1.

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