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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Cumbrian doctor to take on world’s toughest ironmen in extreme triathlon

A Cumbrian doctor will attempt to swim, cycle and run against 250 other competitors next weekend to help a charity.

Russell Newlove photo
Russell Newlove

Dr Russell Newlove, 41, is taking part in the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon – an ironman event in Norway which starts just before 5am on Sunday – to raise funds for the Myasthenia Gravis Association.

The race takes place in the wilds of Norway and is considered by many to be the toughest event of its kind in the world.

Dr Newlove, from Moor Row near Whitehaven, will begin his challenge by jumping off the back of a ferry into the cold waters of a salty Norwegian sea fjord.

After this leap of faith into the water he will begin the 3.8km swim back to the shoreline as the sun rises.

And when he reaches the shore he will be met by his brother, Hadley, who will be his lifeline for the day – helping him out of the water, changing his kit and keeping him fed and watered throughout.

Dr Newlove, who works in A&E at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, said that once he gets onto his bike the “fun really begins”.

He added: “With 112 miles and nearly 10,000 feet of ascent, my time-trial/triathlon bike with deep-rimmed wheels will be put to the test.

“The first climb alone is 4,100 feet high – from sea level – up to the Hardanger plateau, with further climbs, including Immingfjell, the steepest, near the end of the bike leg.”

After completing the bike ride he will then tackle a 26.2 mile marathon run – with a steady 16 miles to begin with before the road rises to finish at more than 6,000ft.

Dr Newlove said: “The run leg is where the race comes into its own as there are strict cut-offs in time and placings to allow further participation.

“Completion at the top of the mountain is only for the best, and those contestants are rewarded with the coveted black T-shirt.

“This has been my goal for these last eight months and this is what has got me out of bed to train at 4am.”

Dr Newlove is hoping to raise as much cash as possible for the Myasthenia Gravis Association (MGA) because his mother Pat suffers from the condition.

MG is also known as the rag doll illness and is a rare, auto-immune disease that affects how nerves and muscles communicate, making the muscles less effective.

Sufferers find moving, eating, speaking, smiling and breathing can be difficult or even impossible at times. The condition can also be fatal if left untreated.

For further information visit http://www.justgiving.com/RUSSELL-NEWLOVE1

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