On Sunday 21st July, the day of his 60th birthday, Ben Reinhardt from Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research's South Cheshire Branch successfully completed the "60 at 60" - a challenge of his own creation which saw him swim 60 lengths, cycle 60km and run for 60 minutes - all in the name of beating blood cancers. Ben tells his story below:
"Sadly in 2007 a lifelong friend of mine lost his son aged 22 to leukaemia. William, or Will as he was known, was one of the kindest young men I have had the pleasure of knowing. He was a sportsman like myself and excelled for his team in whatever he took part in. Unfortunately he was not able to play football for my team in the local South Cheshire Lads and Dads league as he was in the wrong age group, but there was one occasion that I remember very well and this summed up his character for me. My group of players were soundly beaten by his team and, as happens with teenagers at that time, players that had won ribbed my lads saying they were rubbish, couldn't play, wasting their time etc., even though the opposition were older and more developed in strength. Will though came up to me as I was the manager, shook my hand saying that I had some skilful players and that I should be proud of them for trying till the very end. Will was quite rightly competitive in this game and whatever he did but had the decency to still be genuinely humble after the event.
I believe Will contracted the illness in 2005 but sadly did not win the battle, even though he fought till the end two years later, and it is for this reason that I vowed then to raise funds for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research in the hope that in the future lives can be saved. My fundraising started with me vowing to run the London Marathon which had always been a dream, and now I had a reason. This I completed successfully in 2009 despite having to run with a dodgy knee. Following a knee operation to regenerate my cartilage later in 2009, I then did in 2010 a 34 mile walk (Sandstone Trail) in 14 hours. 2011 came and this time I did the Nantwich triathlon and played a 12 hour tennis-athon. 2012 saw me cycle the cross country trail from Workington to Sunderland in a day and half. 2013 saw me do the 12 hour tennis-athon again, then on my 60th birthday (21st July) I decided to mark this special day with a “60 at 60” event. This was a made up event based on a triathlon format, being a 60 length swim (30 metre lengths) then on the cycle for a 60 kilometre ride around the Cheshire and Staffordshire countryside, then completing the event with a 60 minute run in my local park area. 2014 - who knows? But there will be something for sure.
Training for the 60 at 60 started in earnest from April. Basically the programme was daily Monday to Friday sessions in the gym running on a treadmill starting with 20 minute sessions working up to 50 minutes by the end of June. After the gym run I transferred to the pool, starting with 20 lengths initially in April working up to 54 lengths (one mile) by end June. All the gym and swim work was done in the morning as I had to take my wife to work. Cycling was left to the afternoon starting with 20 k (12 miles) working up to 50 k (30 miles). Cycling was the problem for sure - not the pedalling but the breakdowns (three punctures, one wheel spindle collapse and one broken chain) as well as this recent hot weather.
So on the morning of 21st July I set out to complete my special event. Thankfully the weather abated and we had cloud cover. From stepping in the pool at 10.10 am to ending my run at 15.50 pm, all went well. A big thanks to my helpers and supporters – and of course everyone who has sponsored me – for making this a special day for me. I’m pleased to say £400 has been raised to date."
There's still time to sponsor Ben via his JustGiving page.
Our congratulations and a massive thanks go to Ben and his support team for this fantastic fundraising achievement! If you've been inspired to plan a sporting challenge of your own, however unique or unusual, we would love to hear from you. Visit our challenge events page for more information.