Paralympic, World and European swimming medallist Tim Reddish CBE, who is chair of the British Paralympic Association, has signed up for three local events organised by Derby-based HUUB Events in preparation for his bid to compete in his first Ironman competition.
Mr Reddish was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at the age of 31 and lost all useful sight seven years later. He regained some artificial vision in 2013 when he underwent pioneering surgery to have an artificial retina inserted into his eye.
As a swimmer, he represented Great Britain in disability competitions at the highest levels for 13 years - amassing a total of 22 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals.
He was appointed National Performance Director for the Disability Swim Team in 2003, where he led the team at both the Athens and Beijing Paralympic Games. He has chaired the British Paralympic Association since 2008 and was also on the board of LOCOG the organising committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012.
Mr Reddish is now planning to mark his 60th milestone birthday year by competing in the Outlaw Ironman in his home city of Nottingham this summer.
To prepare for this ultimate challenge – he has signed up to compete in the Great Northern Run in Mickleover on Sunday March 5 – competing in the 10k distance.
He will then join the 160k cycle route in the Cycle Derby Spring Classic Sportive on Sunday April 23 starting and finishing at Markeaton Park.
Finally, and will compete in the first ever Staunton Harold Triathlon on Sunday June 11 which starts with either a 400m or 750m swim in the lake, 14k or 28k cycle route and then 4k or 8k run in the picturesque grounds of the estate at the gateway to the National Forest.
Mr Reddish and his sister Lisa Reddish, who is an accomplished triathlete and experienced guide, have been provided with swim, cycle and running kit by HUUB Events’ award-winning sister company HUUB Design who are the kit providers for such famous names as Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee and Jenson Button.
He explained: “I have completed lots of endurance activities since retiring as a Paralympian and as it’s my 60th birthday this April, I thought it would be good to complete the ultimate challenge – the Outlaw full Ironman Triathlon this July.
“I have got lots of cycling miles in my legs and have many hours swimming in the bank by running is something that I need to learn to do again. I will therefore be working hard with Lisa over the coming months – balancing our time between each discipline with at least ten hours training a week – depending on my work schedule.
“The Derby Spring Classic Sportive and the Great Northern 10k will be the perfect preparation for the Ironman – maintaining concentration, good rhythm and balance.
“I am particularly looking forward to the Staunton Harold Triathlon which will be good experience for open water swimming. The swim leg is the biggest challenge as the other swimmers in the pack will not necessarily realise that I am blind and attached to Lisa so we need to be aware of what is going on around us.
“The off-road sections of the run are also aspects that we need to work on – especially if either or both of us are very tired.
“I am particularly grateful to HUUB Design for the kit. As a blind athlete I obviously face many challenges on the swim, cycle and running routes so it is very important to have confidence in top quality kit that is specially designed for the sport.”
Claire Duffin, HUUB Events Race Director continued: “We look forward to welcoming Tim on the starting line of these three great local events which all have different distance options to suit people of all ages and abilities.
“Tim is an inspiration to athletes and I hope that his participation will encourage other people, particularly those with disabilities, to follow in his footsteps.”
Entries are open for the Great Northern Run, Derby Spring Classic Sportive and the Staunton Harold Triathlon on Sunday June 11 with online registration and more information available at www.huubevents.com
Picture shows, from left: Lisa Reddish, Tim Reddish with guide dog Pip, HUUB Design owner Dean Jackson and HUUB Events Race Director Claire Duffin.