September 15 2014 Latest news:
by Ajay Nair, Reporter
Friday, July 25, 2014
Hours of training have paid off for a determined cab driver who completed an ocean swim, cycle ride and marathon all in one day for a sick children’s charity.
By completing the gruelling Iron Man Challenge, Fitness fanatic Steve Smith, 61, of Hornchurch, raised more than £16,000 for charity Starlight.
The fundraiser took on the triathlon in Austria, which comprised a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and a 42km run, with Mr Smith making it to the finish line before the cut-off time.
The cab driver undertook the challenge just two months after completing a half Iron Man in the Canary Islands, Spain.
Mr Smith, who started taking fitness seriously after giving up smoking almost 17 years ago, said: “The biggest challenge was the marathon – by that time you have been out on the [bike] ride for nearly 10 hours.” He added: “I’m really pleased to get my medal.”
The money raised is going to Starlight – a charity Mr Smith regularly fundraises for – which provides support to terminally ill children.
The health-conscious cab driver said: “The actual training is the hardest part of it, and if you don’t train properly, you can’t finish it.”
Mr Smith said he managed to stay motivated during the three events, knowing that his rigourous training regime would come to an end at the finish line.
But he’s not stopping now. The 61-year-old swam the English Channel in 2005 and is already looking forward to his next fitness challenge.
He said: “I just think, at my age, it’s just a way to keep myself fit. It just makes you feel good.”
“I’m very proud of what I have done. It’s a great achievement, but I just take it in my stride.”
Visit starlight.org.uk/donate-to-starlight to contribute to the charity.