Day 57 – festive recovery

Just how I was going to manage doing triathlons every day while enjoying the usual Christmas festivities would be answered today. After yesterday’s weird goings on at Hampton Pool, cycle around Richmond Park and run through Twickenham, I enjoyed the delicious food and drink made by my family, and indulged as much, if not more, than most people.

I had to be encouraged to go to bed and managed just over four hours sleep before I had to get up on Boxing Day to go back to Hampton and do it all again.

Bizarrely, the pool was much quieter and calmer than Christmas Day and there were just three of us in the fast lane. My competitive spirit ensured I swam quite hard. Then it was on to the bike and a repeat of the fabulous route around Richmond Park. This time I paused to speak to a number of officers who were having a meeting in the park and after wishing them a peaceful and safe New Year, it was back to the pool to change shoes and head onto the run.


One mile before the end of the ride, a fellow cyclist needed assistance. Having too short a valve on his replacement innertube for his deep-rimmed wheels, he was fortunate to stop me. I was carrying a tube with the required 60mm valve and soon had him on his way. I would later be delighted by the cyclist’s generosity in donating to my challenge’s cause – thank you Peter.

I then set off on a different route on the run and enjoyed pushing the effort more than the previous few days. With calf muscles feeling less painful and the temperature several degrees warmer than the previous day, I was able to chase down a few other runners on my 10km run around Bushey Park.

Feeling very satisfied that I was able to complete another Olympic-distance triathlon and the excess of Christmas pudding and champagne had a positive effect if anything, I was looking forward to devouring more of the same. It seems that ‘active recovery’ is real but ‘festive recovery’ is better.

It was a wonderful two days in many regards and, although my relatives didn’t seem to mind my anti-social activities too much, I look forward to a normal Christmas in future.

Thank you to everyone who has supported my fundraising to build a memorial to police officers and staff who have given their lives in the line of duty. If you have not yet done so, please donate whatever you can here.

Today, I paid tribute to all the officers and staff who died on duty on previous Boxing Days. They include the first and longest serving commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, who was found dead at his desk. Painfully for all in West Yorkshire Police where I was an officer, it is also the 15th anniversary of the death of Police Constable Ian Broadhurst, who was shot and killed by a former US Marine.

The full list is as follows:

1684 – Watchman Thomas Sydens – City of London

1724 – Watchman Joseph Candy – London Night watch

1868 – Commissioner Sir Richard Mayne KCB – Metropolitan Police

1884 – Police Constable John Fowler – Leeds Borough Police

1900 – Police Constable Frederick Kidd – Metropolitan Police

1919 – Police Constable William Murtagh – Royal Irish Constabulary

1920 – Inspector John Burney – Middlesbrough County Borough Police

1930 – Sergeant Arthur Marriott – Derby County Constabulary

1940 – Police Constable Ian Steen – Lancashire County Constabulary

1947 – Police Constable Gilbert Perkins – Metropolitan Police

1947 – Police Constable Leslie Thompson – Metropolitan Police

1957 – Police Constable George Wheatley – South Shields County Borough Police

1961 – Detective Sergeant Leslie Thomas – Bristol City Police

1969 – Police Constable Ronald Pell – Metropolitan Police

1976 – Chief Inspector George Manning – Essex Police

2003 – Police Constable Ian Broadhurst – West Yorkshire Police

2007 – Police Constable Christopher Roberts – Metropolitan Police

2014 – Police Constable David Arthur – Metropolitan Police

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