AN inspirational grandmother, who had not cycled in 20 years and was last in a cross country team 45 years ago, has completed a triathlon.
Julie Davis, 56, from Haslingden, decided to turn daredevil in September 2017 when she completed a tandem skydive to celebrate her 55th birthday.
The retired housing charity finance officer raised £1,200 for Veterans In Communities through the skydive, as her father John Edwards is an ex-firefighter and member of the charity which supports armed forces and emergency services personnel.
She said: “I decided I should do something a little more challenging than just allow myself to be chucked out of a plane at 15,000ft, so I signed up to a Pink Wave Triathlon - a 200m swim, 9km cycle and a 2.5km run."
“I have diabetes and last November my doctor said if I didn’t do something I could end up on insulin. If that had happened I would have thought I had failed myself.
“I knew I could do something about it so I started to eat properly and I lost a stone, then I saw my brother and sister-in-law and I often come away with a crazy idea after seeing them.
“The weight loss had improved my blood sugars and my sister-in-law said she had signed up for the triathlon and if she could do it so could I.
“On February 1 I went to the gym to start the Couch to 5k programme. After my first 60 seconds I felt like dying and then I tried to pedal the cycle, oh my - wobbly knees. I’ve persevered because I was raising money for VIC. It was a real challenge.”
Julie had help from her grandson seven-year-old Theo who became her personal trainer and would accompany her on the electric scooter while Grandma jogged.
She tried to go to the gym three times a week and even kept up her training in the onboard gym while she was on a month-long cruise.
The event was held at York Sport Village and Julie again raised money for VIC as well as making a donation to Cancer Research UK through entering the event.
She completed the 8 length swim in 7mins 58 seconds, 9km bike ride in 35mins 28secs and the 2.3km run in 19mins 354 seconds
Julie said: “Online I have raised £465, which totals £562 after Gift Aid and I am still getting donations, cash and cheques.
“If anyone wants to do this I would say go for it. You are never too old just take it nice and steady and work on your fitness. I had set myself a challenge and it was not easy but my dad was very proud.”
VIC Operations Manager Bob Elliott said: “This was a truly an outstanding effort and VIC is very grateful to Julie for everything that she has done.”
To donate to Julie visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JulieDavis21