Man’s triathlon mega challenge tribute to mum

A Sleaford man is attempting to complete nine triathlons in nine days to fund a Macmillan nurse for 1,000 hours after losing his mum to ovarian cancer.

Ready for triathlons - Nigel Johnson and the team. EMN-210706-161021001

Nigel Johnson, a 47-year-old RAF College Cranwell pilot and flying instructor, has challenged himself to raise £29,000 for the charity by running, swimming and cycling 900 miles with the help of two friends from tomorrow (Thursday, June 10).

This is just the latest challenge Nigel has undertaken for Macmillan after losing his mum Julie to ovarian cancer. He and his family have already raised £11,500 in memory of his mum to thank the Macmillan nurse who cared for her at the end of her life.

He said: “My mum’s Macmillan nurse Judy was a great support, not only to my mum, but to my family, making a truly difficult time just a little more bearable.”

He continued: “I started fundraising for Macmillan in 2016 by running a 10k. It snowballed from there as I went on to complete Ironman Wales and various half marathons.

“My wife Sara and daughter Amy have also been involved and so far, we have raised about £11,500 for Macmillan. I wanted my fundraising activities to keep getting bigger and better, which is why I decided to do this triathlon.”

Nigel had originally planned for his nine triathlons to span the United Kingdom as part of the John O’Groats to Land’s End route, however due to covid and some of the support team being deployed overseas he has had to scale back his plans slightly.

Instead, Nigel and his friend, Dean Marratty, will visit some of Lincolnshire’s most iconic places during their challenge including Lincoln Cathedral, The International Bomber Command Centre, Woodhall Spa, Humber Bridge, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and RAF College Cranwell. The third member of the team, James Murray, is currently deployed overseas and will complete his part of the challenge from there, running as many miles as possible in a push to achieve the original distance of 900 miles by June 18.

It costs Macmillan around £29 to fund a Macmillan nurse for an hour. Nigel and the team hope to fund a thousand hours of nursing with his ambitious target of £29,000.

Jamie Davenport, Macmillan fundraising manager in Lincolnshire, says: “There are over 27,000 people living with and beyond cancer in Lincolnshire and this number is set to double by 2030. Macmillan relies almost entirely on public donations and cannot be there for the growing number of people with cancer without people like Nigel.

“His commitment and passion for fundraising for Macmillan will enable us to do whatever it takes to ensure people affected by cancer in Lincolnshire can access the vital cancer support that they need.”

lTo donate, go to Nigel’s Just Giving page here: