Latest Updates

Day 73 – time to engage brain

After yesterday’s tiring filming with the BBC, it was back to completing triathlons in the normal way. The alarm was once again set for 4am but I woke without needing to hear its shrill tones and was soon warming my porridge to fuel the day’s efforts. Then a startling discovery, it was only half past midnight! How had I thought it was time to get up?

Never mind, with a stomach full of food I slept a few more hours before rising to the sound of the alarm – a much more accurate assessor of time than my befuddled brain.

The 1,500m swim was OK but done with stiffer shoulders than normal. Then on to the bike and a more enjoyable 40km ride than normal, with plenty of company from gym-goers and personal trainers enquiring about the day before’s filming.

The run was also pretty routine, once again increasing speed with each of the 10km. Number 73 was completed and the three quarter mark is within sight. The progress from two thirds has passed in a blink.

Meanwhile, plans continue to be made for trips around the country and more media opportunities. On Sunday (my 75th consecutive day of completing triathlons), I will be in Essex to be accompanied by the chief constable no less – very much looking forward to that.

And on Monday I will commemorate Stephen Oake, an officer stabbed to death attempting to detain a terrorist in north Manchester. The interest from the media there is encouraging and I hope I can raise awareness among the public of the sacrifices made every day by their police officers and staff. I just hope the brain is more in gear than it was in the early hours of this morning.

I am completing these 100 Olympic-distance triathlons in 100 consecutive days to raise money to build a fitting tribute to all police officers and staff who lose their lives in the course of their duties.

On this day, I paid tribute to all those who died protecting their communities on January 11. They are:

1818 – Parish Constable Tiffany – Deighton, Huddersfield

1874 – Police Constable William Prendergast – Royal Irish Constabulary

1908 – District Inspector Frank Feely – Royal Irish Constabulary

1941 – Police Constable Arthur Beagles – City of London Police

1941 – War Reserve Constable John Dunsford – Portsmouth City Police

1941 – War Reserve Constable John Heard – City of London Police

1941 – Police Constable Andrew Watters – Metropolitan Police

1941 – Police Constable Edgar Whitehead – City of London Police

1946 – Police Constable Arthur Loosemore – Warwickshire County Constabulary

If you have not already done so, please support my efforts by donating here.

Day 72 – covering the distance

Today the BBC came to film my attempt to complete 100 Olympic-distance triathlons in 100 days. Beginning at 8.30 am the filming was to be extremely lengthy and repetitive, not just of my triathlon but even getting in my car in the morning.

By the time filming ended at almost 1pm, I had done almost a whole triathlon but effectively in intervals. I had to get in the pool and swim two lengths about 20 times as there was so much steam coming off the water and from the sauna area.

As I hadn’t quite completed a triathlon it was back on to the bike and finish where I left off. Just to be sure I did the full distance I cycled another 30km and ran 8km, probably far more than I needed to do to make up the Olympic-distance triathlon. I was exhausted after all of that.

The filming was supposed to be shown at 6.30pm but, rather disappointingly, has been held over and might be shown the following night. Sorry for anyone who I told to watch the TV to see what I am doing but I am so grateful to the BBC for their interest, I am sure it will be a fabulous piece. It was certainly very thorough filming and I hope the feature explains why I am putting myself through all this difficulty and garners more public support to get the new memorial to fallen police officers built.

Today I paid tribute to all the officers and staff who died on January 10. They are:

1871 – Police Constable Benjamin Snow – Hertfordshire County Constabulary

1877 – Police Constable George Phillips – Gloucestershire County Constabulary

1883 – Superintendent Edward Marshall – Cornwall County Constabulary

1913 – Sergeant George Spooner – Metropolitan Police

1941 – Special Constable Walter Colley – Portsmouth City Police

1941 – Special Constable Harold White – Portsmouth City Police

1941 – Police Fireman Harry Whiteman – Portsmouth Police Fire Brigade

1943 – Special Sergeant William Rendell – Devon County Constabulary

1984 – Reserve Constable William Fullerton – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1997 – Police Constable Steven Willis – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

Day 71 – I am not drunk, honest

After a day of drinking and eating as many remedies as possible, my acid worries reduced considerably. However, a late press day on Tuesday evening and subsequent dinner at way beyond 9pm, meant I was always going to start Wednesday’s triathlon deprived of sleep.

Getting just six hours of sleep in a 48-hour period while completing an Olympic-distance triathlon each day is not a recipe for high performance. So it was today when my swim was very laboured. Then, feeling better than the previous day, I tried to push the bike, but the tiredness ensured it was not the fastest time. Thankfully, I had some company and the time passed much easier. When I started the run I wondered if people thought I was drunk. It probably looked like I had been on the sauce as I was drifting across the path as I ran, even clipping hedges with my shoulder. If 50 naked women had run by I probably wouldn’t have noticed.

After about half way I again felt easier and was able to push a little harder but it was a massive relief to reach the end and attempt to recover. However, there was the small matter of a full day’s work ahead. At least I have almost got over the acid attack from yesterday. With 71 now completed, the number of triathlons remaining begins with a 2 for the first time and that is a very nice feeling.

The BBC plan to film tomorrow’s effort for the South Today programme so something to look out for – I hope I can get some decent sleep so I can properly portray what it is I am doing this challenge for.

I am hoping to help raise the last amount of money needed to build a fitting tribute to fallen police officers and staff. Today I remembered those who died serving their communities on January 9. They are:

1846 – Police Constable Fitz Parsons – Metropolitan Police

1860 – Police Constable John Taylor – Lancashire County Constabulary

1888 – Sergeant Silvester Walton – Durham County Constabulary

1896 – Sergeant Charles Percival – Lancashire County Constabulary

1915 – Police Constable George Pragnell – Newcastle-upon-Tyne City Police

1915 – Police Constable John Welch – Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Police

1942 – Special Constable Frederick Baker – Hampshire County Constabulary

1948 – Police Constable Arthur Quemby – Metropolitan Police

1956 – Inspector John Gordon – Stirling and Clackmannan Constabulary

1987 – Police Constable John Bispham – Thames Valley Police

1987 – Reserve Constable Ivan Crawford – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

2003 – Police Constable Gerald Walker – Nottinghamshire Police

Day 70 – the acid test

As I lay in bed trying to sleep I had a most extraordinary sensation – it was as if acid was coursing through my whole body, sporadically making me jump up and wonder what was going on.

By the time I had to drag myself to the pool I was already feeling very tired. However, I managed the swim and jumped on a gym Wattbike to complete the 40km cycle discipline. It wasn’t long before I suffered considerable discomfort and as I reached the last three kilometres I was feeling decidedly unwell.

I managed to complete the full 40km and go to change into dry clothes for a 10km run outside. It was one of my longest transitions as my energy levels were almost empty and I struggled to don several layers to keep me warm enough in the freezing temperature outside.

At the start of the run it was very difficult to build any speed, I have become accustomed to easing into it now – the change of clothing usually results in a drop in heart rate that is difficult to raise back to a tempo – but this was as gentle a beginning as I can remember on any day of the challenge.

It wasn’t until I had completed six kilometres that I felt more comfortable and the body began to flow more easily.

Perhaps it was the aftereffects of the cold I had last week, or I had eaten something that disagreed with me, but throughout the day I feared what could have caused me to burn from the inside.

I am sure I will get over this latest concern, having recovered from severe knee pain, extreme calf strains and last week’s terrible cold, I have been amazed at how quickly the body can get better.

Having focused on every fifth day, I afforded myself a Christmas pudding in celebration of reaching another mini-milestone. The next horizon is 75, which will be quite significant.

I am completing 100 Olympic-distance triathlons in 100 days to raise awareness and funds to build a fitting tribute to fallen police officers and staff at the National Memorial Arboretum.

As I do every day, I paid tribute to all who fell on this date in the past. We will never forget the sacrifice made by the following on January 8:

1877 – Police Constable William Coles – Somerset County Constabulary

1891 – Police Constable William Finlay – Royal Irish Constabulary

1921 – Police Constable Frederick Smyth – Royal Irish Constabulary

1938 – Inspector Simon Taylor – Dundee City Police

1949 – Police Constable Frank Skewis – Kent County Constabulary

1985 – Sergeant John Beckett – Northamptonshire Police

1997 – Police Constable Kenneth Brodie – Dumfries & Galloway Constabulary

Day 68 and 69 – motivation multiplication

After an emotional trip to North Yorkshire to pay tribute to PC Andy Bramma on Saturday, it was always going to be a reflective and straightforward effort back in Aylesbury on Sunday.

After my meeting relatives en route back from God’s own county it was a very late night to bed, any attempt to start early would have been difficult. And astonishing accusations made by the Daily Mail meant early morning news writing added to the delay in getting to the pool. So the rest of Sunday was dominated by the triathlon.

Having spent a chunk of Saturday with PC Bramma’s family and friends, I was constantly thinking of the huge and lasting impact of his death on so many people.

And, as I started another triathlon, I knew I would be paying tribute to many more officers today, and that their loss is multiplied many times – my motivation to complete the 100 triathlons in 100 days has become even stronger.

Despite my cold continuing, it has diminished to leave me with a very dull head feeling, the times for each element of this day’s triathlon were back to normal (29 minute swim, 1 hour 12 bike ride and 48 minute run).

On Sunday, I paid tribute to the police officers and staff who died on January 6. They are:

1867 – Police Constable Dennis Clark – Metropolitan Police

1873 – Sub-Inspector Richard Pickering – River Tyne Police

1893 – Police Fireman John Beer – Liverpool Police Fire Brigade

1893 – Police Fireman Charles Watts – Liverpool Police Fire Brigade

1905 – Police Constable Lewis Booth – Lancashire County Constabulary

1907 – Police Constable Frederick Mellars – Metropolitan Police

1941 – Special Constable Bertie Marzetti – Metropolitan Police

1977 – Police Constable John Cameron – Greater Manchester Police

1977 – Chief Superintendent Hubert Ward – Northamptonshire Police

1983 – Sergeant Eric Brown – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1983 – Reserve Constable Bernard Quinn – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1991 – Police Constable Robert Gladwell – Metropolitan Police

2012 – Detective Constable Karen Paterson – Cambridgeshire Constabulary

2012 – Detective Constable Andrew Stokes – Greater Manchester Police

By Monday morning the weekend had taken its toll and, despite other people planning to accompany me, I woke over two hours after the alarm was due to sound, and I have no recollection of it ringing. Fortunately, the person who had planned to meet me for the swim and part of the bike had already texted to say he wasn’t able to make it and Jonathan was able to delay his arrival to join me for the run.

The swim was fine although having to use the slow lane caused a very brief delay. The cycle seemed to take forever which made me push a little faster. And then we started the run a little quicker than normal but I eventually felt comfortable and would have gone a little faster on the second half than we actually did. Even so, a 29 minute 1,500m swim and a 1 hour 10 minute 40km bike ride was followed by a 49 minute 10km run.

Today I paid tribute to the police officers and staff who died on January 7. They are:

1831 – Police Constable Michael Pratt – Metropolitan Police

1844 – Police Fireman Robert Pritchard – Liverpool Police Fire Brigade

1864 – Police Constable Alfred Rodway – Newport Harbour Police

1912 – Police Constable John Tough – Paisley Burgh Police

1921 – District Inspector Thomas McGrath MM – Royal Irish Constabulary

1921 – Police Constable Francis Shortall – Royal Irish Constabulary

1938 – Police Constable John Pike – London Midland & Scottish Railway Police

1941 – Police Constable Sydney Coveney – Metropolitan Police

1948 – Police Constable Alexander Napier – Liverpool City Police

1951 – Reserve Constable John Poucher – Lancashire County Constabulary

1977 – Police Constable Terence Moncaster – Lincolnshire Police

1987 – Police Constable Michael Evans – North Wales Police

1989 – Detective Sergeant Neil Gibson – Cheshire Constabulary

2013 – Police Constable Bruce Stevenson – Derbyshire Constabulary

Day 67 – paying tribute to a hero

pc andy bramma
Police Constable Andy Bramma

What makes a man or woman a hero is the action they decide to take knowing the enormity of the consequences.

Police officers take this decision each and every day, as they battle the drunks who shatter the High Street shop windows, as they use their shields to protect the firemen who fight the multi-story blaze, and as they stretch every sinew to quickly reach the drivers in distress by the side of the road.

They try and give as much as they can to every incident before rushing to another emergency, sure to be criticised by control room and public alike for not coming free sooner.

But while they succeed in quelling disorder, keeping us all safe and ensuring we freely make our way to our houses, the callous hand of fate occasionally grabs a life at random. It cruelly wrenches a father, a mother, a son or daughter, a brother or a sister, from their loving family.

Among their group of life-long friends it leaves a gaping hole. And it shakes the very foundation on which their colleagues used to stand.

Whether fate chooses the hand of the terrorist or the placement of an old oak tree to catch the police car leaving the road, each and every life it takes is a hero, someone who has unstintingly, on each and every day of their service, put protecting the rest of us first and faced immense risks on our behalf.

I was honoured to be able to join the family and friends of Police Constable Andy Bramma and pay tribute to him on the sixth anniversary of his death.

It was humbling to have their support as I completed another triathlon in my attempt to finish 100 in 100 days to raise awareness and funds to build a fitting tribute to all police officers and staff who lose their lives on duty. I was very glad to be accompanied by his friends and colleagues on the cycle and run.

After a minute’s silence in memory of Andy after cycling to the village where he died, I promised to do all I can to ensure the public knows how hard officers try to protect them and how much danger that involves. The public must not be shocked when tragedy strikes and only then realise how much sacrifice is routinely made on their behalf.

PC Bramma left behind a lovely family and amazing friends – they can be proud of their hero who is now surely watching over them.

day 67 north yorkshire swim finish with pc andy bramma family
PC Bramma’s friends and family with me after the swim
day 67 north yorkshire bike start
Setting off on the cycle
day 67 north yorkshire run finish
Returning after the 10km run

Thank you to North Yorkshire Police for allowing me to pay tribute to Andy Bramma and supporting me as I pass the two thirds mark on my challenge.

Sadly, there were many other anniversaries on January 5 and I paid tribute to all of the following:

1812 – Watchman John Bloomfield – City of London

1894 – Sergeant John Harvey – Essex County Constabulary

1938 – Police Constable Hugh Welsh – Glasgow City Police

1941 – Police Constable Arthur Branscombe – Southampton County Borough Police

1941 – War Reserve Constable Thomas Jones – Metropolitan Police

1964 – Detective Constable John Maughan – Metropolitan Police

1966 – Police Constable Gordon Black – Isle of Man Constabulary

1972 – Police Constable George Higgs – Metropolitan Police

1972 – Police Constable William Randall – Metropolitan Police

1976 – Reserve Constable William Evans – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1978 – Police Constable Leslie Bloom – Essex Police

1983 – Police Constable Angela Bradley – Lancashire Constabulary

1983 – Police Constable Gordon Connolly – Lancashire Constabulary

1983 – Police Constable Colin Morrison – Lancashire Constabulary

2006 – Police Constable Karen Balfour – Lothian & Borders Police

2013 – Police Constable Andrew Bramma – North Yorkshire Police

2017 – Inspector Mark Estall – Essex Police

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.

Day 65 – Zzzelebrating a mini milestone

This was another very tough day. After yesterday’s effort I was fortunate to be able to take time out from work to get some much needed sleep. I was in bed not long after 8pm but during the night sneezing woke me many times. However, I was able to drag myself out of bed at 5am and into the pool for 7.

A slightly slower than normal swim followed but then the 40km cycle was probably the most challenging aspect of all the elements of my triathlons so far. My sinuses were terribly blocked making my eyes constantly water and my face ache. I attempted to clear my sinuses by blowing my nose with little effect but the pile of tissues on the floor surrounding my bike ensured no-one came close.

By half way I was burning up but just managed to keep going to complete a much slower ride.

Once I stopped, my sweaty clothes were getting colder by the second and very uncomfortable. I changed and felt pity for Jonathan who had come to accompany me on the 10km run. It was obvious by the look on his face when he saw me that I looked pretty bad.

Once outside, the cold fresh air and company must have had a positive effect on my cold though. Despite feeling incredibly tired, we were able to slowly build the pace and managed a 50 minute 10km run.

As usual I celebrate every fifth triathlon and am so grateful to be able to reach another mini milestone. I guarantee the celebration will be just more sleep.

I am battling to complete an Olympic-distance triathlon on 100 consecutive days to raise money for a memorial to be built to fallen police officers and staff at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Today I paid tribute to those who died protecting the rest of us on January 3. They are:

1812 – Watchman Dugald Campbell – Edinburgh City Police

1837 – Watchman Michael O’Neill – Limerick, Munster

1838 – Sub-Constable Samuel Mahafey – Irish Constabulary

1838 – Sub-Constable Henry Rodgers – Irish Constabulary

1915 – Police Constable Albert Dowse – Sheffield City Police

1941 – War Reserve Constable Robert Holmes – Bristol City Police

1941 – Police Fireman Albert Janes – Bristol City Police

1980 – Reserve Constable Robert Crilly – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1989 – Police Constable Steven Ingham – Durham Constabulary

2012 – Detective Constable Andrew Stokes – Greater Manchester Police

Your support in sharing this page or donating to the cause if you have not already is very much appreciated. Please visit my justgiving page here.

Day 64 – rolling a head

After a night of broken sleep from my very heavy cold, when even the Christmas cake remedy failed, I went to the gym feeling achey and lethargic.

I was simply numb when I got in the pool to begin today’s triathlon but managed to complete the 1,500m comfortably. However, when jumping on the Wattbike I knew it would be really tough. Every part of my body ached immensely and my head felt like someone had swapped it with a bowling ball; I would have loved to have a pillow to pop on the handlebars and rest my head as I completed the ride. Every time I took a drink my sinuses would fill, eyes water and head ache even more.

After the 40km ride I set off into the zero degree temperatures outside for the 10km run. I knew I had simply to survive and hope I can recover while also completing a triathlon every day. The 52 minutes seemed to take forever and when I finished I could easily have lied down in a corner and slept. However, it was into the office for the first day back to work properly and lots to do to prepare for the first edition of Police Professional in 2019.

I am battling through the injuries and illnesses that come with completing an Olympic-distance triathlon every day to help raise the money needed to build a memorial to more than 4,000 police officers and staff who have lost their lives while protecting the public.

Today I paid tribute to those who died on January 2. They are:

1833 – Sub-Constable Bartholemew Gannon – Leinster Constabulary

1849 – Police Constable John Micklewright – Shropshire County Constabulary

1858 – Police Constable Henry Morgan – Metropolitan Police

1898 – Police Constable Ambrose Harrison – Kingston-upon-Hull City Police

1900 – Police Constable George Funnell – Metropolitan Police

1928 – Police Constable Harry Peden – Lanarkshire Constabulary

1939 – Police Constable Percy Gray – Admiralty Civil Police

1941 – Special Constable Edgar Inglis – Cardiff City Police

1941 – War Reserve Constable Harry Stagg – Metropolitan Police

1943 – Special Constable Alfred Ford – Devon County Constabulary

1967 – Sergeant Peter Harman – Staffordshire County Constabulary

1970 – Police Constable Christopher Billson – Metropolitan Police

1973 – Police Constable George Sweeting – Metropolitan Police

Please donate whatever you can here.

Day 63 – the dreaded lurgy

We left the New Year’s Eve party at 11.45pm, not realising that was the time, but as my brain was befuddled from fatigue and cold, we missed the massed hugs and opportunity to pass on my virus to lots of others. Instead we entered home at 11.58pm and saw in the New Year with our old dog Jimmy.

A celebratory and medicinal brandy later, and it was to bed. However, during the night the cough turned into a strong sneeze and headache. I was dreading picking up a bad cold. I was reminded of a friend who attempted a charity bike ride every day for 30 days recently and he had to miss a couple right at the end as he came down with a heavy one.

By the time I was in the water to begin triathlon number 63, when the gym opened at 11am, I was worried that I was about to suffer. This proved not to be the case as I felt much better than the day before on the 1,500m swim, the 40km cycle was below 1 hour 10 minutes and the 10km run was only just over 50 minutes, despite the fact I was taking it easier.

By the time I was home afterwards though, I knew I needed plenty of sleep as the sneezing was getting worse and I was feeling very light-headed.

I really hope I can recover while continuing on my quest to complete 100 Olympic-distance triathlons in 100 consecutive days on behalf of the UK Police Memorial fundraising appeal.

As I do every day, I paid tribute to the police officers and staff who died on that date. On January 1, they are:

1824 – Special Constable James Grainge – Parish of Ridge, Hertfordshire

1865 – Police Constable Thomas Temperley – Durham County Constabulary

1869 – Inspector Lachlan McKinnon – Greenock Burgh Police

1918 – Police Constable Robert Chapman – Salford Borough Police

1921 – Police Constable Michael Malone – Royal Irish Constabulary

1941 – War Reserve Constable David Roberts – Lancashire County Constabulary

1942 – War Reserve Constable Herbert Chittenden – Kent County Constabulary

1944 – Police Constable Joseph Plant – West Riding of Yorkshire Constabulary

1960 – Police Constable Edward Dorney – Metropolitan Police

1967 – Inspector James Bradley – Oxfordshire County Constabulary

1972 – Police Constable Matthew Brown – Lanarkshire Constabulary

1986 – Police Constable James McCandless – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1986 – Reserve Constable Michael Williams – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1991 – Police Constable Gavin Luckhurst – Metropolitan Police

1994 – Inspector Alan Craggs – Surrey Police

2003 – Police Constable Tokunbo Ezobi – Metropolitan Police