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Home / News / Team True Spirit set for IMUK

Team True Spirit set for IMUK

Injured servicemen to compete in 2011's Ironman UK in Bolton

The Ironman UK organisers has granted entry to ‘Team True Spirit’ for the 31 July race, consisting of 10 teams of servicemen who suffered injury serving their country and who are currently recovering at DMRC Headley Court in Surrey.

These individuals are fighting to complete one of the hardest one-day triathlons on the racing calendar in order to raise vital funds for Help for Heroes, Army Benevolent Fund (ABF), the Royal Marines Assocciation, and Blesma charities.

The wounded servicemen in Team True Spirit have all been injured while on duty serving our country. Their injuries vary from severe multiple spinal and limb fractures to amputations of one, two or even three limbs. This makes it all the more incredible that on 31 July they have the potential to call themselves an Ironman.

The initiative for competing in the long-distance triathlon and creating Team True Spirit came from Exercise Rehabilitation Instructor and two-time Ironman finisher Mark Airey. Having completed two previous Ironman UK races he knows what a life enhancing experience it is to cross the finish line.

Due to the nature of some of the patients’ injuries it would be impossible for all of them to compete in all three legs of the event, which is why Mark created the idea of a relay team. Each patient will be accompanied by a Headley Court member of staff who will be there to support and encourage them all the way through. There is, however, one remarkable individual, double amputee Royal Marine Commando Joe Townsend, who will be attempting to defeat the whole race on his own.

This is the true spirit of the Ironman, the true spirit of the serviceman and the true meaning of heroism.

Show your support for Team True Spirit by visiting their website (www.truespirit.org.uk).

Profile image of Matt Baird Matt Baird Editor of Cycling Plus magazine


Matt is a regular contributor to 220 Triathlon, having joined the magazine in 2008. He’s raced everything from super-sprint to Ironman, duathlons and off-road triathlons, and can regularly be seen on the roads and trails around Bristol. Matt is the author of Triathlon! from Aurum Press and is now the editor of Cycling Plus magazine.