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Chichester’s very own Ironman challenge raises £5,000 for local charity

Thursday 5 November 2020

A couple from Chichester, West Sussex, set up their very own Ironman challenge to raise funds for their local children’s hospice, Chestnut Tree House.

ChironmanThe challenge, which is considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world, saw four brave participants take on a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bicycle ride, and a 26.2 mile run in an incredible 12.5 hours.

Fred and Georgie Coppin, from Chichester, organised the event. “We signed up to take part in one of Ironman’s infamous ultra-distance triathlons this year in Spain. But due to COVID-19 it had to be cancelled,” says Georgie. “Despite being a golden opportunity to duck out, we didn’t want our training to go to waste. And with the pun-ability of the event, Chironman, we thought – could we host our own?”

Fast-forward two months and the event took place on Saturday 17 October, raising an incredible £5,000 for Chestnut Tree House. But the planning did not come without any hiccups along the way.

The pair had planned for participants to do the 2.4 mile swim in open water, but a week before Chironman the water temperature significantly dropped. “The temperature lowered to below 12 Chironmandegrees, which is well below usual triathlon regulations and could have been dangerous,” says Fred.

After many phone calls and a last-minute panic, participants were luckily able to start the event at Westgate Leisure Centre. “It felt like a very luxurious start to the event. We were prepared for savagely cold lake water and the next thing you know we ended up in a warm, clean swimming pool! I’d like to say a big thank you to Westgate Leisure centre for helping make this event a success.”

Alongside the four local challenge-seekers – Fred, Georgie, Jack Herniman and Vicky Edwards – 50 participants joined for various parts on the Chironman course. “Training for a triathlon like this takes months, even years,” says Fred. “So, we opened up areas of the course for other people 


to take part, without them needing to take on the full challenge. The response was overwhelming – from first-time cyclists to people pushing for their marathon personal best, so many people got involved. We’d like to say thank you to everyone who took part, and also to those who made the event a success, such as New Square Property, a local family development company that kindly sponsored Chironman.”

Fred and Georgie are long-term supporters of Chestnut Tree House and put the charity at the core of their fundraising initiative. “It’s a real privilege to support our local children’s hospice. They are wonderful and offered us so much support along the way,” says Fred.

If you want to organise your own fundraising event, please email fundraising@chestnut-tree-house.org.uk where the Fundraising Team will be able to offer you help, support, and guidance every step of the way.