Day 66 – two thirds towards a lasting tribute

Everyone has told me their colds have lasted for weeks so I have been preparing myself for a long haul to get rid of mine, perhaps having to cope with it for the next 34 days. However, after the previous triathlon I managed to survive all day working without needing a sleep and with another fabulous night’s rest behind me, I was hopeful I am on the mend.

I managed a reasonable swim followed by a good inhalation of donated Olbas oil to clear my sinuses. Then a steady 40km bike ride was a major improvement on the previous day. Once on the 10km run I was very unsure of how I was going as I still felt very light-headed but a check of the watch at the end showed 49 minutes, which was very pleasing.

Another day’s work and thankfully I felt much better as I drove to Thirsk in North Yorkshire for the first of a number of triathlons at forces around the country.

I have marked so many losses of members of the police family during this challenge and so many are officers who died on their way to emergencies or while going to the aid of people in distress. They were striving to make a difference for no other reason than public service. I really hope my efforts raises some awareness of the dangers officers face every minute of every day as they push themselves to the limit to reach the member of public requiring assistance and of the huge impact their sacrifice leaves behind.

The personal stories are always tragic. Like the death of Detective George Dixon, who died on January 4, 1953. He suffered as a result of injuries sustained on duty in 1929 and died of those injuries 24 years later.

As I reach two thirds of the way in my 100 days of completing a triathlon I am reminded that the personal impact of the loss of a family member never goes away.

We so need a fitting memorial that will last as long as the impact of all these sacrifices. Where relatives, friends, colleagues and the whole service can go to peacefully reflect and remember. The memorial will also be a place where the public can learn about the extent and context of the losses and provide support for the families of officers and staff who continue to pay the ultimate price.

Today I paid tribute to all the police officers and staff who died protecting the rest of us on January 4. They are:

1865 – Police Constable John Ford – Devon County Constabulary

1878 – Police Constable Jabes Horner – North Riding of Yorkshire Constabulary

1910 – Police Constable Alfred Hudson – Leeds City Police

1922 – Police Fireman Patrick Dunleavy – Leeds Police Fire Brigade

1953 – Detective Inspector George Nixon – Lancashire County Constabulary

1970 – Police Constable Edward Barnett QPM – Glasgow City Police

1979 – Police Constable Malcolm Reader – Lancashire Constabulary

Please help me raise money to build a fitting memorial to them and say a huge ‘Thank you’ to every police officer and member of staff who stretches every sinew to help us in our moment of need. Please donate however much you can afford here.

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