A would-be iron man is hoping to crack the biggest challenge of his life for charity.
Hard as nails Neil Tempest is well into his training for the Copenhagen IRONMAN triathlon race, which he is set to compete in on August 21.
On the day he will have to race a gruelling total of 140 miles, which will comprise of a 2.36 mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a marathon run of 26.2miles.
“I’ve never done anything like this before”, said Neil, 29, who works for a company that sells alcohol in the Middle East.
“But when my uncle was diagnosed with MSA three months ago, which really came out of the blue, I decided now was the right time.
“It’s a neurological condition that effects the brain, causing problems with movement, balance and bodily functions.
“There’s no known cure for it at the moment so I want to raise money for the charity that funds research into it, the MSA Trust.
“It’s often confused with Parkinson’s and virtually no one has heard of it. It took the doctors a while to diagnose my uncle and he had to undergo a lot of medical tests.”
Training for the triathlon has taken over Neil’s life.
“It’s a massive sacrifice but it’s worth it.
“I train 10 times over six days every week, which means that on four out of the six I do two training sessions a day.
“I do a mix of interval, base line and endurance training and have joined a swim club.
I moved out to Dubai two years ago and triathlon is actually really accessible there.
“I’ve got the beach on my door step and there are great, safe bicycle tracks around the city.
“And I have to fit it all in between my full time job, which involves me having to entertain clients in the evenings.
“Let’s just say that I don’t get much sleep.”
Neil talked about some of the challenges he’s faced.
“I wasn’t a very good swimmer a year ago so I’ve put a lot of effort into doing that”, he said. “I’ve also had a bit of a niggle when running so am giving that a rest at the moment but the beauty with training for a triathlon is that you can just switch to focusing on the other two sports when that happens.
“I hope to do it in 10 hours and my only concern is being fit enough on the start line. The training is so intense and I don’t want an injury.
Anyone who would like to donate to Neil’s cause can do so by going to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/tempo