Chester Deva Triathlon - 12 June 2016

Maria Doherty, Bell Group North West’s Office Manager, is taking on the Chester Deva Triathlon challenge on 12th June 2016 in support of the company’s national charity Barnardo’s. The challenge involves a 1 mile swim in the River Dee followed by a 25 mile bike ride on a route that takes participants into Wales via Eccleston, Rossett and Borras and back into Chester via Alford and Boughton. The contest then ends with  a 6 mile run, incorporating the Old Dee Bridge as well as the suspension bridge, along the Groves and in the meadows finally concluding  at the Bandstand in Chester.

Maria completed the London Marathon in 2012, raising an amazing £3000 for Princess Royal Trust for Carers and felt she was ready for another challenge. On seeing an advert in her gym for the triathlon she originally discounted it:

“I felt that this was out of my league,  I am “50” next year, but I attended as a gym buddy and wanted to do it but was unable to make the meeting.  The carrot was dangled in front of me and after persuasion and encouragement from others I conceded”

Since this meeting Maria has thrown herself into a vigorous training programme, training her mind and body in activities she hasn’t done for a long time! “I have not been swimming since I was in school; I am more of a “Lilo Lil” girl.  Cold water is not something I enjoy but after getting in the pool at the gym I found that swimming came back to me quite easily and was even therapeutic, dare I say, enjoyable”  Within a few weeks Maria was comfortably doing the required 90 lengths of the pool. The next step was to move outside which was a huge challenge, having a fear of open water, which is dark, dirty and cold!

“When in a pool you have the comfort of walls and a floor, outside it is quite eerie as you are alone with no safety net”

Training for the cycling aspects of the challenge wasn’t any easier “The last time I was on a bike was 20+ years ago when the children were young; I used to put them in a seat at the back of me, which did not always go well!  For this event I have had to purchase a bike as I had got rid of mine years ago, and was very surprised how they have changed since I last rode.  Biking is definitely not a strong point of mine, as we don’t seem to gel and in the last few weeks of cycling I have received many bruises and grazes. Fingers crossed I will stay on for the full 25 miles!!”

Having completed a marathon only a few years ago you would think this part would be easy for Maria but she’s expecting to find it quite difficult having already completed  26 miles of  exercise by the time she puts her running shows on! “Once you get off a bike, your brain and legs do not communicate with each other very well and can be quite difficult to run.  All I need to say to myself is at least it isn’t 26.2miles!”

Everyone at Bell Group wishes Maria the best of luck with her latest challenge and are delighted she has chosen to support our company charity, Barnardos, to help boost our target.