Battling injury, water and mountains for a sick friend

James Browne (centre) with his support team Alex Broadley and Jamie Mitchell during the CELTMAN challenge.

James Browne (centre) with his support team Alex Broadley and Jamie Mitchell during the CELTMAN challenge.

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A Radford Semele man has taken on an extreme triathlon challenge through a lake and mountains in the harsh climate of northern Scotland to support an unwell friend.

James Browne has so far raised more than £2,400 for Marie Curie by taking part in the CELTMAN challenge in the Torridon mountains in Wester Ross, because the charity has been a good source of support for his friend and former university flatmate Rob, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease last year, aged 32.

Rated as one of the hardest long-distance triathlon races in the world, the event involved swimming 3.4 km across a freezing lake, cycling 202 km across hills and then running 42 km over two mountains.

After six months of training and despite suffering an injury a month before the event, James - with the support of his friends Alex Broadley and Jamie Mitchell - managed to complete the challenge in 17 hours.

He said: “The weather was phenomenal and the stunning view was endless.

“Finally, 17 hours after starting, at 10pm we got back to Torridon and I crossed the finish line with Al and Jamie, to be greeted by my fiance Meg, Mum and Dad.

“It was incredible to share the experience with Al and Jamie. To both of you  -  thank you for getting me through the lows and celebrating the highs. To say they went beyond the call of duty doesn’t come close.

“Every moment training was worth it to feel the sense of achievement of crossing the finish line. I’m a very ordinary guy with some extraordinary ideas and CELTMAN was one of them!”

On top of this, James had already raised around £2,000 by organising a charity event last year.

He is still taking sponsorship for the CELTMAN challenge. Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/celtmanchallenge and to find out more about Marie Curie, visit www.mariecurie.org.uk