The Kenya Ironman Challenge!

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1 The Kenya Ironman Challenge! - to build two badly needed nursery schools in Kenya - December 10 th 2015 A partially built nursery school near Gilgil in Kenya s Rift Valley where building came to a halt due to lack of funds. Money raised from the Kenyan Ironman Challenge will provide for the completion of this little school for 80 small children and another one like it! The Kenyan Ironman Challenge. please be part of it! 1

2 Dear Sponsors and Supporters of our Challenges! November 2015 With Christmas on the horizon, and the season of goodwill upon us, I would like to tell you about my next charity Challenge! As you would expect, it is quite original, quite demanding physically, and, as my dear Mother puts it, "it is absolutely reckless, irresponsible and deeply unwise! You may remember that she also quite reasonably called the 2012 Foglietta Challenge A very, very foolish stunt indeed! And then the 2013 Ruitor Challenge An exercise in attempted mass suicide! But once again, I know she will reach for her handbag, because she knows it will at the very least be entertaining! And it is also for a worthwhile cause, which is difficult not to relate to! In this next Challenge, I will try to complete an Ironman 70.3 triathlon (swim, bike, run) but to do it as a poor, impoverished Kenyan would have to do it, with very little indeed by way of material advantages or any of the normal luxuries of modern day endurance events. So here s the Challenge! A circa 2 km open water swim with no wetsuit or goggles, in the dirty, cold, December waters of London s Serpentine Lake. Transitioning into: 2

3 A 90 km bicycle ride on an old steel framed bicycle with no gears and no suspension, completing a route which includes the ascent of legendary Box Hill in Surrey. Transitioning into: A 21 km run (half marathon) past some of London s iconic land marks (Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, London Eye, Tower of London, Embankment Trafalgar Square, Green Park, The Albert Memorial, the Serpentine Lake) shod in what a poor Kenyan would have, a pair of "running sandals" cut by hand out of a disused Firestone car tyre, known in Kenya as 1000 Milers! My best time for an Ironman 70.3 is six hours and 4 minutes and 0 seconds. Let s expect this one to take up to twice that! 3

4 Why do this? By appealing to a few friends, family members and business colleagues to support this venture financially, the Kenyan Ironman Challenge will raise enough funds to build at least two new nursery schools in Kenya, one of which will be named after one of this Challenge s very own sponsors, drawn by lots from amongst you. Furthermore, my wife, Annabel, and I will match each hundred pounds or euros donated by you up to a maximum of , so we will make a considerable financial effort ourselves as well, as we have proudly done in Challenges before. The Challenge will be attempted in and around London on Thursday 10th of December, which just happens to be my birthday, providing the perfect excuse for a lovely day off work! It promises to be a really big day out and you can follow the progress by , on Instagram and on Facebook if you want to. If you would like to support our Challenge, please visit our charity page where I have already sponsored this event: I hope you may enjoy following this little adventure and having a few laughs along the way as you follow this unusually challenging triathlon. You could be the Sponsor to have a new nursery school named after them in the Rift Valley in Kenya!! Fond best wishes, Nicholas (Nick) Walker At the top of the Ruitor Glacier April 14 th

5 Why Build Nurseries in Kenya? Most of us believe that the way to a Better World for the Third World is through education. And by building nurseries, we address the problem at its root and give hope for a long term solution. All the nurseries which Kariandusi will build are close to Primary and Secondary Schools already built by Kariandusi. They will fulfil a double mission of looking after the smallest and most vulnerable children, whilst allowing older siblings to attend schools, rather than having to stay at home, babysitting. Photo of one of the Laboratories built from funds raised by the Foglietta and Ruitor Challenges Why these Challenges? The Challenges bring us together, keep us in touch, keep us laughing, challenge us to keep active, make us do new things, understand risks, and then push us do something very meaningful indeed for someone we will never ever meet. A gift to education is to plant a tree under whose shade you never hope to rest. 5

6 Why a Triathlon? Triathlons are the fastest growing sport in Europe. They come in different lengths, and most of us can have a go at one at some point! Sprint version: 750m Swim, 20 km Bike, 5 km Run Olympic version: 1.5 km Swim, 40 km Bike, 10 km Run Ironman 70.3, called also The Half : 1.9 km Swim, 90 km Bike, 21 km Run Ironman 140.6, also called The Full : 3.8 km, 180 km Bike, 42 km Run Triathlons have the benefit of providing exercise for the whole body and require ability at three different sports whose desired musculature is quite different. So, in theory you look good if you do enough of them! I hope some of you following this little adventure will have a go at a triathlon soon. It s very much the future of endurance of sports, I think, as telemarking is the future of winter sports! Am I any good as a Triathlete? I started training for the Kenyan Ironman Challenge a year ago and have done a number of Triathlon Sprints, the individual distances many times separately, and in June this year I competed in the highly competitive Staffordshire Ironman 70.3 in a time of 6 hours and 4 minutes. The World Champion, Javier Gomez Moya, was competing in this event along with the 50 best triathletes in the world. And how did I do? Well, I am pleased to say: Javier Gomez Moya came first and I came thirteenth! (Now that sounds pretty good doesn t it, and it IS true strictly speaking, but it would have been much less misleading if I said that Javier came first in his age category and I came thirteenth in mine!) (So, the truth is, I am more of a Try-athlete than a Tri-athlete! But it s all about the taking part, right? Oh dear, now I really do sound like a loser!) I did ask Javier if he wanted to try the Kenyan Ironman Challenge with me but he said he was busy that day! I even offered to change the date but he always seemed to be busy! Funny that. Maybe I should try the Brownlee Brothers? Risks of Triathlons? Endurance sports have some risks (but so does being born!) One in marathon runners and half marathon runners die during the event (presumably quite a few more whilst training for them). For triathlons, this figure is four times higher and rises to one in (same applies for the training, I guess). 6

7 But there are several things you can do to reduce drastically the risks of missing the post event party. Here are some very good tips! Check your heart is healthy every few years (basic cardiac assessment tests cost less than I did not know that until the Challenge encouraged me to take one); Don t run, cycle or swim more than 25% longer than you have done before, build up in measured incremental steps; Warm up your body thoroughly before suddenly throwing it into fifth gear; And when you have done all of that, don t worry too much about carking it or kicking the bucket. Just think of it as leaving early to avoid the rush! Particular Risks of The Kenyan Ironman? Well!!! Where shall we start? The Swim: this is the most dangerous part of the Challenge by far, because of the cold. 60% of long distance triathlon fatalities occur in the water and the problem is of course cardiac arrest. Wet suits are a very big help here and are mandatory for all competitions when the water is below a certain temperature. They also help you float and swim about 10% or 15% faster. Competitive organized triathlons require mandatory wetsuits in open water in Europe in autumn and winter, so this requires specialist preparations and precautions as I won t be wearing one. Swim risk mitigation for the Challenge: I am training in cold water with no wet suit, I choose open water where am always very close to the edge, I will cover myself in duck fat before starting, I will get out if I show signs of panic or hypothermia and put my wet suit on, I will have someone watch me all the time and. I will be constantly vigilant against revenge attacks from ducks! The Bike: the key here is to warm the body up slowly after the swim until I stop shivering. Most people are familiar with upper body shivering but it is also possible to shiver both with the upper body and with the lower body uncontrollably at the same time and that make it really difficult to pedal (Piste to Plage Cycle Challenge - Col de Galiber 2013, I remember it very well!). I also need to be careful of mid week London traffic, avoid running the traffic lights to gain time and try not to ride up Box Hill with no gears as this cannot be done by a normal human begin. I must get off and run up, pushing the bike. Bike risk mitigation for the Challenge: I will wear warm cloths for the start of the cycle section, be patient with traffic lights and wear a helmet even though a poor Kenyan might not have one. 7

8 The Run: here the risk is chronic leg, foot and back injury from running in a completely different position as required by the bare foot running technique when wearing the 1000 Milers and from the impact on asphalt and lack of cushioning in the shoe. Run risk mitigation for the Challenge: I am wearing the 1000 milers a lot around the house and even at the office before the event. I run in them slowly and stop and walk if I feel any pain other than the obvious chaffing of the rubber straps. Final Risk Assessment: The risks are significantly reduced by this not being a timed event and not having others to worry about. Also, I can take comfort that the risk of avalanche this time is very, very low indeed! As usual, I have discussed this with a number of sensible people whose judgement I trust and so far I can t find any one who agrees this is a very good idea! And I do respect these judgements a lot and have considered them carefully. But I then say, this is what makes a jolly good Challenge! I mean this is a lot more sensible than taking drugs, breaking the speed limit, not wearing your seat belt, using too much salt, Hell, it s a really good idea! How will we invest the funds raised? The first funds raised will be invested to complete the nursery shown on the cover. This is providing a new school for 80 small children whose nursery has a condemned roof and no interior walls or teaching aids. The second nursery will be constructed from new amongst a number of projects close to an existing school. We are in the process of assessing the best alternatives. Let me also say if someone wishes to fund an entire nursery themselves (as my wife and I are doing) and leave something of their very own for posterity in Kenya, then a whole one costs between and Finally, you have my undertaking that I will personally visit the nurseries at my own expense and ensure our funds are well invested. How can you contribute? Please visit the Bmycharity web page below where your donation will go directly to Kariandusi to be spent on building the nursery schools. Otherwise please donate directly into the Kariandusi bank account in Euros or Pounds in the UK: Website: 8

9 Bank Account: Bank HSBC City Corporate Banking Centre Account Number Sort Code SWIFT BIC Code MIDLGB22XXX IBAN No GB48MIDL Account Name CAF Bank Ltd For Credit to (enter in field 72) Kariandusi School Trust As promised, Annabel and I are matching your very kind donations Euro for Euro, Pound for Pound up to a maximum of I hope you have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy this little bit of madness and that you will want to support or at least follow the Kenyan Ironman Challenge for the sheer fun of it. You can follow the Kenyan Ironman Challenge on Facebook and Instagram. Otherwise I will send you an to let you know if I do get to see the end of my next Birthday. Either way, I am sure it will have been fun! 9

10 About Kariandusi School Trust? Kariandusi School Trust ( Kariandusi ) is a charity set up for the advancement of education amongst children in rural Kenya, addressing the need for schools by the construction of school buildings, and thereafter, the on-going provision of school facilities and educational materials in and around those schools. Kariandusi started in 2003 as an initiative of retired army colonel Harry Vialou Clark MBE who was born in Kenya and who wanted to build just one school. Motivated by the success of the finished project, Harry has funded and built, or rebuilt, a further ten primary schools, all of which are now fully functional. The two most recently finished schools were handed over to the local community in Kariandusi s greatest achievement has been to build a magnificent secondary school for 480 older children. Work started in February 2011 on the Woodard Langalanga Secondary School and the first pupils started there early in This school was funded mostly by parents and former pupils of several secondary schools in England but the largest single group of benefactors were the Supporters of the Foglietta Challenge and Ruitor Challenge whose gifts paid for all of the science laboratories and IT laboratories and the girls changing rooms and toilets. The first of these events, the Foglietta Challenge, raised GBP for Kariandusi including UK tax payers s gift aid (as well as GBP for the The Smile Train). The second of these events, the Ruitor Challenge, raised GBP inclusive of UK tax payer s gift aid, so a total of more than GDP for Kariandusi. That is over in today s money! Karandusi operates though an admirably lean structure which includes a few volunteers including Harry and Harry s wife, Alison, as well as retired headmistress, Anne Smyth, and former accountancy partner Nigel Trent. So every penny or cent raised by our Challenges goes directly into bricks and mortar through the good offices of Mathenge who is their trusted local builder. This is a highly efficient and utterly trustworthy charitable organization (Registered Charity number ) whose people I have known for some years and whose work I have visited personally and personally keep an eye on! Through the Challenges, we are building high quality infrastructure in Kenya, which is making a big difference to children and their parents and which will continue to do so for decades, if not centuries. The following two pages show three photographs from the building of the Langalanga Secondary School with funds donated by the sponsors of the 2012 Foglietta Challenge and the 2013 Ruitor Challenge. 10

11 11

12 The Absolutely Amazing Finished Product! Well done Harry and the Kariandusi School Trust! Now let s do the nurseries! The Kenyan Ironman Challenge. please be part of it! 12

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