Courageous Ben, 22, set to rise to Ironman challenge

Ben Kenneally, who is doing an Ironman challenge in Nice, France
Ben Kenneally, who is doing an Ironman challenge in Nice, France

A young man will be taking on the biggest challenge of his life on Sunday when he attempts to complete an Ironman event.

Ben Kenneally, 22, of Northgate, Oakham, will fly to France tomorrow ready for the Ironman challenge in Nice.

The gruelling day will begin with a 2.4 mile open water swim, followed by a 112-mile cycle ride and finishing with a 26.2 mile marathon run.

Ben has been training around the clock for the last six months in preparation for the challenge but says he is still worried about the run after being hit with a knee injury.

He said: “It is a bit of a crazy challenge but I had time to train so I thought it would be interesting to see if I can do it.

“I am a bit worried about the run because I haven’t done anything further than 10 miles for a couple of months but I think the support from my friends and family will hopefully get me through on the day.”

Ben has wanted to compete in an Ironman challenge since he was a youngster after seeing it on television.

But he has been motivated through the training by raising money for Parkinson’s UK.

His grandfather Ken Thompson died of the disease in 2002, having suffered with it for more than 25 years.

Ben, who graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in engineering last year, has so far raised nearly £2,000 for the charity, which supports people with the disease and researches it.

He said: “My grandfather had the disease and it was just something I grew up around.

“But the older I got the more I learned about it and it has come to the point where I just want to do my bit to help.”

Ben, who will start a job with an engineering consultancy firm in Oxford in September, has been supported by Rutland Cycling, which has provided equipment for the race.

After the challenge, Ben will spend a few days recuperating and enjoying the sights of Nice before flying back to the UK on Wednesday.

To sponsor Ben visit www.justgiving.com/ben-kenneally