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Feel Good Stories from the Henley Highwayman weekend

Which Training Camp visited Henley-on-Thames on Saturday to see the cycle leg of the inaugural Henley Highwayman, an innovative take on the triathlon, where each discipline happens on a different day, so swimming on Friday, cycling on Saturday and running on Sunday. Not only that, but the event offers a choice of distance in each, with points allocated for the speed you achieve as well as how brave you are in terms of the distance you choose to race. So you get points for completing any of the distances, more for completing your chosen distance quickly, and most for finishing the longest distance in a very quick time. Your total points over the three disciplines are added up and the winner is the person with the most points.

While we were there we heard a couple of feel-good stories we wanted to share.

Karl was born with scoliosis of the spine, a degenerative condition which meant that at age 14 he had to have major surgery in order to avoid becoming paralysed; a steel rod was inserted into his back and bolted onto his spine with 4 bolts to straighten out the curves and twisting he was born with. The operation was a success, so Karl could walk, but still suffered a great deal of pain, with a knock-on effect on his mobility. Medics tried to help with injections into his hip and spine, but to no effect. At Christmas, 40 years old, he could hardly walk to his local shop, 100m away, without becoming breathless. He was overweight and unable to help himself because of the pain in his hip.
His brother, a triathlete, gave him a bike and changed his life. Starting gradually, Karl has built up to where he is now. He has lost over a stone in weight and his whole life is much better, with the improvement in core and leg strength he has gained on the bike meaning that his hip is much less painful. Last week he cycled 75km and was shattered; this week he covered the 62km course easily and felt full of beans at the end of it. We stood chatting for about 20 minutes, which he said he could never have done only 3 months ago.

What a great story, Karl, thank you for sharing it with us!

We met some of the members of Ripcor Cycling Club enjoying a coffee and cake at the end of their ride. We learnt about their club, their adventures and their money raising achievements for the PACE centre in Aylesbury, which supports children with cerebral palsy. 

Read more about Ripcor ....

To find our about the Henley Highwayman and the results, see here .... 



Categories: All topics, Interviews, Cycling, Triathlon

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