Triumph for triathletes

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Four sporty lads have raised in excess of £1,500 between them in aid of Barnsley Hospital Charity’s Tiny Hearts Appeal.

Scott Copeland, Matthew Hanwell, Mark Cassell and Ben Hall took part in several fundraising challenges to support the appeal.

Their efforts culminated in a triathlon at Castle Howard, in North Yorkshire.

The Tiny Hearts Appeal, launched last September, aims to raise £1 million to support the development of a new Special Care Baby Unit next to the Barnsley Birthing Centre.

Scott said: “Mark is a charge nurse at Barnsley Hospital and he told us about the appeal. We wanted to raise funds for a local cause where people can see where and how the money is being spent and the impact on people in our town.

“It was a huge challenge, with very long distances that are difficult to complete in training because of the time it would take.”

In the Gauntlet Challenge the men completed a 1.9km Castle Howard lake swim, a 90km bike ride and a 21km off-road run.

Mark said: “If we’d been doing it on our own I think it would have been a lot harder. We did a lot of training before and after work, and we incorporated team training days and used a mobile phone app to compete and motivate each other.”

All four completed the race, with Mark finishing in 39th place out of around 200 participants.

Steve Wragg, chairman of Barnsley Hospital Charity, said: “The challenges these guys have gone through in aid of the Tiny Hearts Appeal is incredible.

“The challenges were tough and physically demanding, not for the faint- hearted, and they’ve risen to that and raised a fantastic amount for the charity.

“It can’t have been easy training for something so challenging, especially working full time .

“I’d like to personally congratulate them and say thank you.”