19 February 2021

NHS Charity launches virtual triathlon

as it sees 70% decrease in events income due to pandemic

Southampton Hospitals Charity is calling on the community to get involved in their inaugural virtual Race for A Million triathlon.

Race for a Million has been set up by the hospital charity in light of the coronavirus pandemic which has had a huge impact on the usual annual events calendar. Most of which have had to be cancelled, meaning there has been a 70% decrease in event income.

The virtual event will take place this spring and participants need only register to run, cycle and swim, individually or as a team.

There are also lots of distance options from Olympic to much shorter challenges suitable for all the family.

Registration is via the charity’s social media accounts and is £15 per participant or team. And at the end of it, everyone wins a medal!

Race for a Million

All money raised will support vital facilities within the newly expanded General Intensive Care Unit (GICU) at University Hospital Southampton (UHS), where the Charity has pledged to raise £1 million towards a specialist rehabilitation area, palliative care suite, relatives’ quiet room, and staff waiting room.

The GICU has treated hundreds of patients with coronavirus symptoms for weeks and even months at a time, and has also accepted transfers from hospitals as far away as Birmingham and London for our care.

Former patient Claire Danson, from Hampshire, says she owes her life to the team at Southampton. A European triathlete champion, Claire was on the cusp of becoming a professional but her dream was shattered following a crash with a tractor while she was on a training ride in 2019.

She was transferred to UHS by air ambulance but had suffered a catalogue of life-changing injuries including breaking every bone in her neck, both shoulders and severing her spine, which left her paralysed from the waist down.

Claire, 34, said:

My family was told there was a strong chance I wouldn’t survive, but it’s thanks to the amazing team in the intensive care unit at Southampton that I am here. They literally saved my life. I encourage you to sign up for the triathlon, take part, and have a great race!”

BBC Sports Presenter, Mike Bushell, comments:

I am delighted to say that I am taking part in the Race for a Million triathlon. It is a great way to do your bit for your local hospital, and the best part of it being virtual is that you can do different parts of the triathlon each day. So sign up, and get training.”


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