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Days 84 to 87 – switching to recover

After the trip to Lincolnshire, it was a long drive back as I struggled to get my blood pressure back to normal and replace all the minerals, energy and fluids I had lost, not only on Day 83 but also through the illness I have suffered over the previous few days.

A late night followed but I again had to be in the pool as soon as possible the following day as work doesn’t stop. Fortunately, colleagues have been great in stepping up to run the ship while I have been laid low by colds and travelling to triathlons.

Tuesday to Thursday was all about survival, feeling extremely light-headed as it has been difficult to recover from this latest illness. The triathlons have been completed in slightly slower than normal times.

On Thursday, I had a meeting in London and decided that if I switched the efforts to the evening I would be able to steal a few extra hours sleep and give myself the best chance to recover and still complete the triathlons on consecutive days.

At the meeting with Phil Kay, father of cyclist Emily Kay, I was presented with a GB vest containing all the signatures of the GB team, including Laura and Jason Kenny, Katie Archibald, Ethan Hayter and many more. That will be auctioned later to raise additional funds for the memorial.

Me and Phil Kay with signed GB top

When I returned to Aylesbury I wasn’t banking on finding the pool closed (that’s the dangers of kiddie’s lessons in the afternoon and the occasional accident). An emergency detour was needed to find a pool I could use with Wattbikes and would be open long enough. Aquavale came to the rescue and I managed to complete the efforts in reasonable times, given the mode I was in.

Then on Friday it was back to the normal pool and another late start but this time no hiccups. Despite the constant coughing, I felt better than I have done for over a week. All the times were almost back to normal, with a run dipping a couple of seconds under the 50 minute mark, which was a major surprise.

I now only have 13 triathlons to go, less than two weeks to the finish, which seems extremely close. However, after succumbing to the latest illness and until I start the final one, I will not take any of them for granted.

With every one I will treasure the opportunity think of the families, friends and colleagues of police officers and staff who have died serving their communities. As a member of the public, I am so grateful for the sacrifice all officers and staff make when they turn up for work to protect the rest of us from all kinds of dangers.

On each day I have paid tribute to those who lost their lives doing exactly that. On January 22, they are:

1690 – Watchman John Pascall – London Night Watch

1851 – Police Constable Robert Hill – Somerset County Constabulary

1858 – Police Constable John Hart – Irish Constabulary

1891 – Superintendent Nathan Tobutt – East Sussex County Constabulary

1894 – Police Constable William Trusler – Hampshire County Constabulary

1903 – Sergeant John Leeson – Royal Irish Constabulary

1909 – Police Constable Martin Goldrick – Royal Irish Constabulary

1920 – Police Constable Luke Finnegan – Royal Irish Constabulary

1921 – Police Constable Robert Hegerty – Royal Irish Constabulary

1921 – Police Constable William Peers – Liverpool City Police

1921 – Police Constable Frederick Taylor – Royal Irish Constabulary

1944 – Special Constable John Beynon – Glamorganshire County Constabulary

1973 – Police Constable Samuel Hyndman – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1963 – Police Constable Arthur Wood – Northampton County Borough Police

1976 – Inspector George Bell – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1976 – Detective Constable Neville Cummings – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1978 – Police Constable Roland McGowan – Lancashire Constabulary

1990 – Inspector Mervyn Monteith – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

2009 – Police Constable James Drew – Hampshire Constabulary

On January 23, they are:

1864 – Police Constable Charles Pearce – Metropolitan Police

1866 – Police Constable William Fitzgerald – Metropolitan Police

1894 – Police Constable Charles Cartledge – Congleton Borough Police

1895 – Police Constable John Spence – Leeds City Police

1899 – Police Constable John Shirley – Metropolitan Police

1905 – Police Constable John Rolfe – Margate Borough Police

1909 – Police Constable William Tyler – Metropolitan Police

1911 – Police Constable Henry Perrett – Metropolitan Police

1921 – Sergeant John Kemp – Royal Irish Constabulary

1941 – Special Constable George Storrar – Fifeshire Constabulary

1953 – Police Constable John Currie – Motherwell & Wishaw Burgh Police

1989 – Police Constable John Forrest – Strathclyde Police

1993 – Police Constable Michael Ferguson – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

On January 24, they are:

1864 – Police Constable Daniel Langford – Metropolitan Police

1867 – Police Constable Thomas Brown – Liverpool City Police

1879 – Police Constable William Nazer – Metropolitan Police

1885 – Sergeant James Radford – Derby County Constabulary

1885 – Inspector Thomas Simmons – Essex County Constabulary

1937 – Sergeant William Ewen – Dunbartonshire Constabulary

1952 – Inspector William Findlater – Scottish North-Eastern Counties Constabulary

1960 – Police Constable Ronald Addison – Metropolitan Police

1971 – Detective Constable Peter Coulson – Teesside Constabulary

1989 – Police Constable Brian Lashmar – Metropolitan Police

1990 – Sergeant Malcolm Herd – Strathclyde Police

And on January 25, they are:

1822 – Watchman Richard Cooke – Wolverhampton Night Watch

1863 – Police Constable John Holland – Sheffield Borough Police

1867 – Police Constable Thomas Brown – Liverpool Borough Police

1889 – Police Constable John Graham – Gateshead County Borough Police

1897 – Police Fireman George O’Donoghue – Burnley Police Fire Brigade

1907 – Police Constable Albert Smith – Bradford City Police

1921 – Police Constable Frank Morris – Royal Irish Constabulary

1960 – Police Constable Walter McMillan – British Transport Commission Police

1988 – Police Constable Colin Gilmore – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1990 – Chief Inspector John Smith – Hampshire Constabulary

2002 – Detective Sergeant Ludwik Sowka – Nottinghamshire Police

Day 83 – well done Lincs!

Beth Wilmot, Lee St Quinton, me, Bill Skelly and Sam Ward wearing our hard-earned medals

After just surviving the triathlon on Sunday, I made the steady journey to Lincoln with the aim of getting the best night’s rest ever so I would be able to participate as Chief Constable Bill Skelly and his force’s triathlon team planned to join me in my 83rd triathlon in 83 days.

A late start due to grabbing an extra 40 minutes sleep and stopping twice on the way meant it was 10pm when I checked into Charlotte House Hotel in Lincoln, and it was straight into a sumptuous bed. The alarm was set for 8am. If I could get ten hours sleep it would be amazing and give me a chance of completing the triathlon the next day.

At 1.30am I awoke in a lake, I have never known a cold to have made me sweat so much, and the heating was off and the room chilly. A quick shower and change of clothing before paracetamols would bring my temperature down close to normal. Sleep broken by bouts of coughing meant I was rested but not recovered from a difficult night.

Thankfully I was able to take my time before heading to the David Lloyd Leisure Centre just outside the city. There I met the team who were kindly taking part with me: Mr Skelly, Sam Ward, Lee St Quinton and Beth Wilmot, not to mention Sergeant Emma Ward, who had expertly organised the event.

ITV’s Calendar team (Primetime Media) were there to film our exploits so after interviews we got down to business. We used two lanes with the fit youngsters in one and Mr Skelly and I in the other. I set off steadily while Mr Skelly was obviously determined to set a fast time from the start. As the youngsters swam by my side I would attempt to keep pace but a coughing bout would remind me to ease off. I completed the swim in a reasonable 29 minutes, given my state I was very pleased.

It was then onto the indoor bikes. If anyone has not been into these facilities, the spin room at David Lloyd is something special, with a huge screen offering virtual classes. However, our ride was simply a case of five of us going all out to finish as soon as possible.

I was last on the bike after making a pit stop but managed to catch and level peg with Mr Skelly. Meanwhile, Lee finished his 40km ride in around 54 minutes, which was incredible. Five very sweaty bodies emerged onto the treadmills and pushed hard to complete the 10km, with Sam doing his utmost best to put us all off by making us laugh.

We were all hugely relieved to have completed the triathlon together, good times for all of us, a very impressive performance from Mr Skelly and his triathlon team, especially Lee. Thanks to Emma who presented us with medals made for the day.

And my challenge was to receive a huge financial boost when I was presented with £5,000 from Lincolnshire Police’s charitable funds – Mr Skelly is very keen to support staff wellbeing (he recently provided two extra wellbeing leave days), and wanted to make his own personal tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

And so were other chief officers, ACC Kerrin Wilson has been a huge support from the start of my challenge, and a big thank you to the police and crime commissioner, Marc Jones, for also coming along to support us in our effort.

Assistant Chief Officer Andrew White personally added to the funds and Motorola Solutions made a £500 donation to edge me extremely close to my overall target. Motorola is beginning a major transformation of command and control in the county, after already making a huge difference to mobile policing. I am so grateful for the company’s continued support.

It was a fabulous day, a huge motivation to complete the challenge and see the fitting tribute to fallen police officers and staff built at the National Memorial Arboretum in 2019.

As always, I paid tribute to the officers and staff who died on duty on this date in the past. On January 21, they are:

1737 – Watchman Charles Du Bois – City of Westminster, London

1821 Constable John Armstrong – Officer of the Worship Street Public Office, Middlesex

1847 – Police Constable William Crowley – Irish Constabulary

1850 – Police Constable Robert Stamford – Nottinghamshire County Constabulary

1867 – Police Constable John Chattey – Metropolitan Police

1900 – Police Constable Ernest Beckwith – Metropolitan Police

1915 – Special Constable George Fowler – Metropolitan Police

1919 – Police Constable James McDonnell – Royal Irish Constabulary

1919 – Police Constable Patrick O’Connell – Royal Irish Constabulary

1920 – Assistant Commander William Redmond – Dublin Metropolitan Police

1921 – Sergeant Henry Bloxham – Royal Irish Constabulary

1921 – Police Constable Thomas Johnston – Royal Irish Constabulary

1957 – Police Constable Ronald Chebsey – Shropshire County Constabulary

1981 – Reserve Constable James Stronge – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1991 – Reserve Constable (Retd) Thomas Stephenson – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1994 – Chief Inspector William Wright – Ministry of Defence Police

2002 – Police Constable John Palmer – Lincolnshire Police

2009 – Detective Constable Diane Donald – Strathclyde Police

2009 – Police Constable George Small – Metropolitan Police

2017 – Police Constable Paul Briggs – Merseyside Police

Day 81 & 82 – surviving to Lincoln

Apologies for the delay in posting updates over the last week, hopefully when they are live you will see why it has taken me so long.

After contracting the lurgy, Saturday and Sunday’s (January 19 and 20’s) triathlons were all about survival, as have been so many since.

I hadn’t expected to contract another illness so soon after the previous and this one hit me even harder. I made it through Saturday’s triathlon feeling like I had coped and with some confidence, gained from reaching this far and overcoming severe injuries and illnesses before, I felt that I would soon be on the mend.

However, I did not bank on how I felt on Sunday. I just managed the swim and after propping myself onto the Wattbike in the gym, felt like I was dying. That was, and remains, the most difficult cycle of the challenge so far.

The transition to run was extremely slow and I was buoyed by the support of those in the gym and a kind donation of an energy gel, before embarking outdoors. As my temperature soared, I managed to run out into the country. The first half of the run must have been the slowest yet. However, after retching into a hedge and heading back, I was joined by Sarah whose energy gave me such a lift.

As the sun shone on us it was difficult not to enjoy the run but it seemed to have consumed so much of my energy, by the end I was just about flaking out.

I was due to join Lincolnshire Police on Sunday evening ready for a triathlon on Monday. It was time for Sunday afternoon sleep so I had any chance of being on the start line.

As always, I paid tribute to the police officers and staff who lost their lives while serving on these days in the past.

On January 19, they are:

1945 – Police Constable Thomas Akrill – West Riding of Yorkshire Constabulary
1966 – Police Constable Anthony Allder – Mid-Anglia Constabulary
1930 – Police Constable William Arnold – West Riding of Yorkshire Constabulary
1893 – Police Constable William Baines – Plymouth Borough Police
1881 – Police Constable job Bennett – Leicester County Constabulary
1844 – Town Officer Thomas Corstorphin – Burntisland Burgh Police
1870 – Police Constable Charles Cox – Metropolitan Police
1863 – Police Constable William Davey – Metropolitan Police
1869 – Police Constable James Dovey – Worcestershire County Constabulary
1874 – Police Constable Michael Gunning – Royal Irish Constabulary
1922 – Police Constable Francis Hill – Royal Irish Constabulary
1954 – Police Constable John Hill – Lancashire County Constabulary
1913 – Police Constable Frederick Loom – Midland Railway Police
1955 – Chief Inspector Edmund Norris MC – Wiltshire Constabulary
1895 – Police Constable George Tye – Birmingham City Police

And on January 20, they are:

1919 – Police Constable James Campbell – Glasgow City Police
1968 – Sergeant Normand Cook – Pembrokeshire County Constabulary
1921 – Police Constable John Doogue – Royal Irish Constabulary
1921 – Police Constable Michael Moran – Royal Irish Constabulary
1921 – Sergeant Michael Mulloy – Royal Irish Constabulary
1921 – District Inspector Tobias O’Sullivan – Royal Irish Constabulary
1913 – Police Constable John Smith – City of London Police
1921 – Police Constable William Smith – Royal Irish Constabulary
1915 – Police Constable William Williamson – Metropolitan Police

Day 80 – round 2 against the lurgy

The pressure was on today. Having to get a triathlon done and home again to prevent the wife doing anything that could cause any further damage to her broken wrist.

The earlier the start the more crowded the pool but everyone abided by good etiquette and allowed me to swim by when I caught them.

Then on to the bike and the cough that started the day before returned and made me feel a little dizzy. I was trying to push as hard as I could while recognising that I wasn’t feeling that well. Twenty miles into the cycle and I felt extremely faint but glad to be able to continue and finish the ride in an average time for the challenge.

Then it was on to the 10km run and it dawned on me that the lurgy had come back for another go. After I had overcome a very bad cold just a couple of weeks ago I didn’t expect to get another one before I finished the challenge. Again I tried balancing the need to get home quickly with not pushing too hard that I damage my chances of doing another triathlon the next day.

It took 51 minutes but I felt drained. I have overcome so much that at this point, having reached the 80 per cent milestone, I can not be beaten now. The rest of the day proved this is going to be a real fight. A temperature developed and the cough is now constant, including occasional retching.

Thankfully it is now the weekend and the chance for more sleep.

I am doing this challenge to raise money to build a fitting tribute to the sacrifice and courage of all police officers and staff. Today I remembered those who died on duty on January 18, they are:

1830 – Sub-Constable Thompson Morrison – Ulster Constabulary

1862 – Police Constable William Penny – Somerset County Constabulary

1873 – Police Constable George Grey – Northumberland County Constabulary

1877 – Police Constable Thomas Groomes – Metropolitan Police

1924 – Police Fireman Isaac Percival – Leeds Police Fire Brigade

1925 – Police Constable Albert Willits – Wolverhampton County Borough Police

1953 – Police Constable Charles Rogerson – River Tyne Police

1983 – Reserve Constable John Olphert – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

Day 79 – a new level of difficulty

I am constantly reminded that the end of my challenge to complete 100 Olympic-distance triathlons in 100 consecutive days is almost complete. There are plans to have a white board placed prominently in the gym showing a countdown to the final day’s triathlon on February 7.

Back on October 31 when it all started that date seemed so far away – over three months – but now it is just three weeks. However, today, I found that there are still major barriers to overcome if I am to complete the challenge.

After a very pleasant and relatively speedy 1,500m swim, the 40km cycle was a little laboured, the tiredness from travelling and late press days earlier in the week were still affecting me. Then on the 10km run I felt very hazy throughout, which was not good as it was treacherous underfoot. A sudden flurry of snow had mostly cleared in bright sunlight but in the shadows it had turned to invisible ice.

As I sat longer than normal attempting to recover in the changing rooms, I received an urgent appeal from my wife to return home as she had fallen while out walking. On arrival, I could tell a hospital visit was needed. Two hours later and her arm is in plaster, X-rays showing a clear break in her wrist.

My challenge just got a lot more difficult as my wife can not drive for between six and eight weeks, she is very upset that she can’t do much without my help and won’t be able to play tennis for some time.

On top of this I seem to have picked up a cough from the hospital. If ever there was a reason to concentrate on the here an now, rather than thinking ahead to the finish, this is it.

Ironically, after her constant warnings about the damage to my body from completing so many triathlons without a day for recovery, I am currently injury free. However, I will not dwell on this fact as she is bound to read this.

I am continuing to complete this very difficult challenge to raise funds for a fitting tribute to fallen police officers and staff to be built at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. If you have not already done so, please donate whatever you can here.

Today’s triathlon was completed in tribute to all those who died on January 17, they are:

1872 – Police Constable John Davey – City of London Police

1903 – Police Constable Thomas Hines – Ipswich County Borough Police

1921 – Police Constable Robert Boyd – Royal Irish Constabulary

1924 – Special Constable Joseph Cooke – Ulster Special Constabulary

1939 – Police Constable William Hall – Metropolitan Police

1943 – Police Constable Albert Burns – Metropolitan Police

1944 – War Reserve Constable Arthur Lowe – Liverpool City Police

1985 – Police Constable Robert Owen – Staffordshire Police

1985 – Police Constable Graham Whitehurst – Staffordshire Police

Day 78 – numbing news

The Tuesday press day ended at 10.30pm and the combined total of six hours sleep in the past 48 meant the start of Wednesday triathlon was going to be a late one.

Unfortunately, the timing clashed with an aquarobics class and five of us in one lane was not the best experience, mostly for three of the others who had to put up with two of us constantly overtaking.

As I climbed on to the bikes I learnt Thames Valley Police (TVP) had lost another officer in a fatal road accident the previous evening. The tragic death of an officer while driving home from work, just a few miles away, is the second for the force since Christmas.

I was joined on the bike by an excellent cyclist who then mentioned he is a serving TVP officer. Unfortunately, he had not heard about the accident and a quick check of my phone found the force’s statement that had just been released and I had the difficult task of telling him that his colleague, PC Kevin Flint, with whom he had worked for the past two years, had died.

He was obviously shocked to hear and we continued while reflecting on the dramatic news. I completed my ride and he cut short his.

I set off on my 10km run feeling numb, knowing how many people will be affected by the tragic news. I completed the triathlon in sombre mood but also paying tribute to the officers and staff who also lost their lives on duty on this date. The names of those who died serving their communities on January 16 are:

1849 – Police Constable John King – Great Western Railway Police

1850 – Sub-Constable Bernard Rogan – Irish Constabulary

1932 – Police Constable Albert Millington – Liverpool City Police

1941 – Special Constable Wilmot Sedgley – Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Police

1950 – Police Constable William Ramage – Admiralty Constabulary

1964 – Police Constable John McKenzie – Lothian & Peebles Constabulary

1966 – Police Constable Kenneth Broughton – St Helens County Borough Police

Day 77 – surviving the lack of sleep

After a busy day, I left the warm welcome of Manchester on Monday very late but happy with the significant media coverage and headed back home. It was another bedtime gone midnight and a successive day of just over three hours sleep before getting up on Tuesday to start another triathlon.

It was good to be back at the Aylesbury gym and its very warm pool. After a straightforward swim it was on to the bike and my stomach was not in the greatest shape. Over the previous two days I had spent 14 hours in the car and eaten most meals in the driver’s seat, which is not conducive to a good digestive system.

After struggling through it was on to the road for the 10km run, for which I seemed to have plenty of energy, despite the lack of sleep. Another triathlon done and on to work for a full-on press day, which those of you who have followed these updates know can be very taxing and impact the next day’s efforts.

Injuries and illnesses have subsided but I keep reminding myself that I struggled to complete two days of successive triathlons last year so there is still no guarantee I will be able to complete the 23 remaining – it is too easy to think about the completing the challenge now.

On this day I paid tribute to the officers and staff who died while serving their communities on January 15. They are:

1897 – County Inspector William Lennon – Royal Irish Constabulary

1930 – Sergeant Henry Wren – Port of London Authority Police

1931 – Police Constable Thomas Edgeley – Preston County Borough Police

1941 – Police Constable Harry Smith – London Midland & Scottish Railway Police

1960 – Sergeant George Bickerton – Buckinghamshire County Constabulary

1986 – Police Constable John Barton – Norfolk Constabulary

1986 – Police Constable Thomas Dent – Durham Constabulary

1989 – Reserve Constable (Retd) Harold Keys – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

2007 – Police Constable Stacey Pyke – Lincolnshire Police

Day 76 – raising awareness

me and don maclure at stephen oake memorial
Me and Don MaClure pausing at the memorial stone for DC Stephen Oake

After finishing the triathlon in Essex the previous day, it was up to Manchester to commemorate the death of Stephen Oake 16 years ago. Stephen was stabbed 8 times by a terrorist during a raid in the north of the city.

However, by the time I made it to Manchester it was half past midnight. After a shower and settling in I had just over three hours before my alarm was set to ring to get up for my next effort.

Thanks to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) for hosting and publicising my challenge. An appeal for participants saw Don MaClure, a former Merseyside Police officer, join me at short notice. Don’s son Christopher, a GMP police community support officer, died on duty in 2007. Together we completed the triathlon in honour of all fallen officers and staff, especially Stephen and Christopher.

GMP has suffered too many deaths in recent years and I was glad I could visit the force and raise awareness of what its officers face every day.

You can see Granada TV’s coverage here

It was also great to see the BBC’s coverage of my challenge tonight too. Below is the showreel courtesy of David Lumb @ the BBC:

It is important to remember the sacrifice of all officers and staff and we paid tribute to the ultimate price paid by so many on January 14. They are:

1781 – Watchman Edward Cox – Brompton Parish, Middlesex

1842 – Police Constable Thomas Everett – Metropolitan Police

1899 – Police Constable Harry West – Metropolitan Police

1900 – Detective Officer William Reid – Glasgow City Police

1936 – Sergeant William Coughlan – Lancashire County Constabulary

1939 – Police Constable Walter Nicholls – East Sussex County Constabulary

1950 – Police Constable George May – Hampshire County Constabulary

1957 – Police Constable Alan Ralph – Hampshire & Isle of Wight Police

1958 – Sergeant Charles Brown – Cheshire County Constabulary

1967 – Police Constable Erroll Griffiths – Carmarthenshire & Cardiganshire County Constabulary

1973 – Sergeant David Dorsett – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1973 – Reserve Constable Henry Sandford – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1973 – Police Constable Mervyn Wilson – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1977 – Police Constable Eric Faux – Hampshire Constabulary

1977 – Reserve Constable William Greer – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1981 – Police Constable Maurice Farmer – Nottinghamshire Constabulary

1981 – Reserve Constable Lindsay MacDougall – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

2003 – Detective Constable Stephen Oake QGM – Greater Manchester Police

Day 75 – paying tribute to the whole family

bjh and me after 75th triathlon
Me and Chief Constable BJ Harrington after competing a triathlon in tribute to PC Gary Veal

Today, in reaching this major milestone of three quarters of my target of completing 100 Olympic-distance triathlons in 100 days, I was invited to Essex by Chief Constable BJ Harrington to pay tribute to Police Constable Gary Veal, who tragically lost his life going to the assistance of motorists on the A12 in 2002.

The triathlon began at the Merville Barracks gymnasium in Colchester, named after the Parachute Regiment’s Corporal Bryan Budd VC, who lost his life in a firefight in Helmand Province in 2006.

Due to the Garrison Commander’s kind hospitality, we had a lane of this marvellous pool to ourselves and enjoyed a very pleasant 1,500m swim. It was then out onto the roads for the 40km cycle ride heading south. Immediately the wind was a factor, especially when we reached Mersea Island where the fierce breeze seemed to be in our faces no matter where on the island we were.

Back to Colchester in a circuitous route to make up the mileage and thankfully BJ is a strong cyclist who was able to tow me into the worsening wind.

Then we set off on the 10km run around the perimeter of the barracks a couple of times and the opportunity to chew over the challenges in policing, in particular the opportunities to invest in the coming year. Mr Harrington is buoyed by additional funding that is likely to come from increases in the Council Tax and see new officers and staff make a huge difference in the county. I look forward to visiting again soon to discuss some of the roles the new colleagues will fill, particularly in tackling some of the high harm criminals.

Overall, it was a tough triathlon, especially as the wind on the cycle made it pretty difficult going. But I tip my hat to Mr Harrington who made a huge effort to pay tribute to a fallen Essex Police officer and participate in my attempt to raise funds for the UK Police Memorial.

We also paid tribute to every police officer and staff member who died on January 13. They include three special constables who volunteer their time to protect the public. Coincidentally, two specials were seriously injured in Colchester during the night so Mr Harrington was keen to point to the huge sacrifice and courage of the whole police family.

The full list of those who lost their lives serving on this date is:

1795 – Constable David Price – Officer of the Union Hall Public Office

1915 – Detective Constable William Andrews – Kingston-Upon-Hull City Police

1921 – Sergeant Stephen Carty – Royal Irish Constabulary

1921 – Special Constable Robert Compston – Ulster Special Constabulary

1921 – Sergeant Jeremiah Curtin – Royal Irish Constabulary

1926 – Police Constable Victor Wilson – Metropolitan Police

1930 – Inspector Walter Bett – Staffordshire County Constabulary

1941 – Special Sergeant Sidney Hannam – Plymouth City Police

1941 – War Reserve Constable Henry Marshall – City of London Police

1961 – Special Constable Clifford Bassett – Ulster Special Constabulary

1968 – Police Constable David Davies – Norfolk Joint Police

1982 – Sergeant Edward Thomson – Strathclyde Police

1989 – Police Constable John Smith – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

2002 – Police Constable Gary Veal – Essex Police

2008 – Police Constable Christopher Hart – Greater Manchester Police

Please support my effort to build a fitting tribute to the courage and sacrifice of all officers and staff by donating here. Thank you.

Day 74 – off the leash, almost

It is Saturday and relief to have a slight lay-in (6am), and that I got the time right after getting up and eating breakfast yesterday at half past midnight. Off to the pool to begin triathlon number 74 and one away from reaching the three quarter mark. This is quite a euphoric feeling and a real impetus to my efforts.

My cold and acid problems have almost gone. And once in the water a be-finned young lady was swimming at exactly the same speed as me and pushed me to one of the fastest times I have done throughout the challenge.

On to the bike and I felt very good. I was joined by Tom for 20km of the ride which helped keep momentum going. One of the fastest cycle rides so far too and for the first time in a couple of weeks I felt invigorated – it was hard holding back.

However, I then realised I wasn’t completely over the colds as I felt the extra effort I had made when it came to the run.

After a pretty average time for the 10km, it was great to just be one away from the next major milestone, I just hope I do not pay for it over the next two days as I take the challenge to Essex and Manchester.

Today I paid tribute to the police officers and staff who lost their lives while protecting the public on January 12. They are:

1842 – Police Constable John Dickson – Great Western Railway Police

1856 – Police Constable John Carver – Great Western Railway Police

1898 – Police Constable Alfred Marsh – Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Police

1929 – Inspector Arthur Tullett – Metropolitan Police

1941 – Police Constable Leonard Adamson – Metropolitan Police

1941 – Police Constable William Murdoch – War Department Constabulary

1942 – Special Constable David Thomson – Fifeshire Constabulary

1942 – Sergeant Bernard Caulton – Nottinghamshire County Constabulary

1972 – Reserve Constable Raymond Denham – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1980 – Reserve Constable William Purse – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC