West Lindsey man becomes Ironman in memory of daughter

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A West Lindsey man completed an ironman challenge in Staffordshire in memory of his daughter.

Kevin Dunne, who is a community action officer, completed the gruelling 1.2 mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run in six hours 29 minutes and 52 seconds.

Said Kevin: “My 23-year-old daughter Hayleigh was a keen competitive swimmer, but she was tragically killed in a road accident in 2010.

“I have found that the best way to cope with her death is to try and focus on the sport she loved.

“My inspiration and motivation to compete in these events comes from her and I can feel her presence pushing me along. I think she would be very proud of her dad.”

Kev’s career so far in these competitions hasn’t been plain sailing though after he picked up a severe E.coli bug while training for Ironman Wales.

This setback resulted in Kevin being hospitalised for a week and forced him to withdraw.

Kevin adds: “I was really disappointed as I had raised £800 for Scope. Staff from West Lindsey had kindly sponsored me.

“The charity were very understanding and said I could carry my sponsorship over to when I was well enough to compete again.”

To finish the Staffordshire event, Kev had to swim 1.2 miles in Chasewater reservoir.

He then had to bike 56 miles across stunning countryside outside Lichfield, Burton-upon-Trent and across Cannock Chase before completing a 13.1 mile run which started and finished at the historic Shugborough country estate.

The event in Staffordshire attracted over 2,500 competitors, including famous faces like chef Gordon Ramsey and Olympic silver medallist Javier Gomez.

Added Kev:“I’m proud to have finished in 1239th place out of 2500 competitors and 26th in my age group. The first person in my age group finished only an hour in front, which wasn’t bad for my very first event.”