Each year, around the time of my birthday, I endeavour to raise some money for different charities and over the years many people have supported me and enabled me to raise money for a number of good causes. 

This year I decided to set myself a Triple Challenge (a kind of mini-triathlon) to be completed within 7 days:

  • The Wirral Bikeathon – cycling 28 miles around different areas of the Wirral
  • A swim of 100 lengths in a 25 metre pool (previous best – 75 lengths)
  • The Wirral Coastal Walk – a 15 mile journey from Seacombe Ferry to Thurstaston Country Park

I am delighted to let you know that this weekend I completed the final challenge, the Coastal Walk in a time of 4 hours, 45 minutes in very hot temperatures. Despite beforehand having thought this might be the easiest challenge, the walk turned out to be the biggest test. My wife Anne and Brenda Brown from Woodchurch also completed the 15 miles. 

The swim, which I thought would be the hardest challenge went surprisingly well, considering I have little style in the water.

Alternating between breaststroke and backstroke allowed me to complete 105 consecutive lengths (1.3 miles) in a time of 1 hour 55 minutes and I was delighted to break my personal best by a full 30 lengths. 

The Bikeathon began in Arrowe Park, I rode with Richard, Rachel’s husband, we journeyed out to Irby, Caldy, West Kirby, Hoylake and Meols before returning to Arrowe Park via Saughall Massie and Greasby. Then it was off on our second 14 mile loop, heading to Irby Village, Heswall and the Chester High Road, before turning for Thornton Hough, Brimstage, Storeton, Landican and finally Arrowe Park for a final time. Our time for completing 28 miles was 2.5 hours and we had good weather with a fair breeze, just back in time for a chat and photo with Olympic cyclist and Wirral resident Chris Boardman. A great day out!! 

The three good causes I decided to support this year were St. John’s Hospice, Wirral, Woodchurch Methodist Church (Shoebox Appeal) and Bloodwise, supporting people suffering from blood cancers (leukaemia and lymphoma).   

We have heard a lot of bad news recently and I just thought you might like to hear a bit of good news, if anyone would like to make a donation to any of the 3 causes, it can be sent to myself at Woodchurch Methodist Church, Pemberton Road, Woodchurch, Wirral, CH49 8JL. Gift Aid can be added where needed, but please do not feel under any pressure to contribute!! Please feel free to share the news within your Church(es). I thank God for giving me the strength and determination to complete these challenges (especially the walk!!).

David Smith, Church and Centre Co-ordinator at Woodchurch