Toughest challenge yet for Go Wansbeck coach
A sports-mad charity worker is taking on his biggest event later this month when he runs, cycles and swims for 16 hours in the Mediterranean heat.
Karl McCracken, 40, is taking part in an Ironman event in Nice in southern France in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Karl, who is Go Wansbeck's business coach, must race against 2,500 competitors as they swim 2.4 miles in the sea, cycle 112 miles up a mountain and then run a full 26.6-mile marathon, all in less than 16 hours.
He has the backing of many businesses in Northumberland including Animal Tracks, the All in One Company, Nevin's Northumberland and House of Hannah, which are all offering prizes in a competition to guess how quickly Karl will complete the three stages of the race.
Barber and hairdresser the Barbers 2 in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea is also helping out and as part of a publicity stunt to raise more money, Karl popped in to get his legs shaved.
Karl, from Whitley Bay, who has competed in 10 triathlons in the last five years, said: "Cyclists often have their legs shaved to help with aerodynamics and it will also be easier for me to put on sun cream, which I'll definitely need competing in the heat of southern France!
"This is the hardest I have ever trained for anything and I'm really gratefully for the support I've received from businesses across Wansbeck who are encouraging me to complete this event and raise as much as possible for charity."
Karl's family are flying out to France to cheer him on in the event and then he'll be back to work just three days after he crosses the finish line.
Go Wansbeck programme manager, Martin Townshend, said: "It's great to see the support that the local community is giving Karl as he gets ready to take part in the triathlon and the whole Go Wansbeck team wishes him lots of luck in the event."
Help Karl reach his fund target at www.justgiving.com/KarlOnSea
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