Jenn Flaherty works with personal trainers in Kirklees but she will challenge her own physical limitations when she takes on the epic Copenhagen Ironman challenge on August 19th . Jenn is doing the Ironman challenge to raise funds for Guts UK Charity to help fund vital research.
Many of us are probably unaware that we have a pancreas, where it is or what it does, and least of all that it can backfire with devastating consequences. When Jenn saw her beloved aunt struck down by acute pancreatitis, she felt compelled to do something: not only fundraise for more research but also raise awareness about pancreatitis and its shocking impact on families.
“It was the weekend of my Half Ironman race in July last year when my Auntie Helen was rushed to hospital with abdominal pain. Knowing nothing on the start line, Helen was soon in a critical condition, oxygen dependent and showing signs of sepsis. Over the next week she was transferred to intensive care, in an induced coma, and with multiple organ failure. It was all such a shock,” says Jenn.
Helen is still on a long road to recovery and it is her determination, will power, and humour throughout her illness, that have inspired Jenn to take on the full Ironman this month. Helen isn’t well enough to travel but Jenn will have 23 family members and friends cheering her on in Copenhagen, all wearing Guts UK t-shirts loud and proud.
Julie Harrington, CEO of Guts UK, says, “We fund the only clinical research fellowship into pancreatitis in the UK but we urgently need more research to get a specific treatment for this condition. Just like Jenn, Guts UK needs to go faster to make pancreatitis better understood, better diagnosed and better treated in order to save lives.”
What an Ironman race entails?
An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organised by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run, raced in that order and without a break.
Also, you have to complete this within set time limits: You must finish the 2.4 mile swim in a maximum of 2 hours 20 minutes. You are required to have completed both the swim and cycle within 10 hours and 30 minutes, and you have 16 hours and 50 minutes to cross the line altogether. Only if you finish within this time can you call yourself an Ironman finisher.
To support Jenn’s epic Ironman efforts on August 19th for Guts UK’s vital research into digestive system diseases, please visit: http://www.justgiving.com/Jenn-Flaherty
More information on acute pancreatitis can be found here: https://gutscharity.org.uk/advice-and-information/conditions/acute-pancreatitis/
More information on Guts UK fellowship on pancreatitis can be found here: https://gutscharity.org.uk/research/grants-and-awards/gutsuk-amelie-waring-fellowship/