A Staffordshire-based housebuilder has sponsored a local resident who completed 70 triathlons spanning over 70 miles each in the space of just 75 days – raising more than £14,000 for mental health and addiction charities.
Vistry Group – which incorporates Linden Homes, Bovis Homes and Vistry Partnerships and has its Mercia regional offices in Stafford – donated £600 to the fundraising efforts of Andy Stone, a Bovis Homes customer who lives at the completed Sancerre Grange development in nearby Eccleshall.
Andy, 41, a climbing instructor and recovered addict, initially planned to complete the gruelling challenge in 70 days, with the aim of setting a new Guinness World Record for the number of consecutive 113km triathlons completed and the number of 113km triathlons completed in a year.
A toe infection meant he had to take a four-day break halfway through, but he still managed to complete the distance in 75 days and is now awaiting confirmation of whether he’s a record breaker.
Andy’s partner, Sally Fenton, 42, said: “After being seven years sober, Andy wanted to raise a profile building his health and mental resilience to show people that there is a life after addiction and that even when you’re at the end of the line you can go on to achieve something big.
“When he first told me about the challenge, I thought he was crazy. He came up with the idea in lockdown when his mental health had seen a drop, so I was concerned how it would affect him mentally if he was unable to complete it. However, after he explained the breakdown and began his preparation, I knew he could do it.”
Andy prepared for the event by conducting 17 sprint distance triathlons in April 2021, followed by 35 Olympic distance marathons in August 2021.
The 70:70:70 challenge, which was held in Eccleshall, saw Andy completing a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run each day on 70 days, with the first triathlon taking place on 4 April this year and the final event on 17 June.
The challenge has already raised an incredible £14,250 for three charities – Mind, Alcohol Change UK and Humankind – with Vistry’s £600 donation to be split between Alcohol Change UK and Humankind.
Sally said: “The support Andy received was amazing. On the last day 400 people came to cheer him on. It has been especially great having Vistry’s support. The donation meant a lot and we couldn’t be more thankful.
“Angela, who is a customer care advisor at Vistry, has been amazing. She attended the final event in support of Andy which was so lovely and has shown consistent support.”
Freya Halsall, marketing assistant for Vistry Mercia, said “Hearing Andy’s story was so inspiring. This is an incredible challenge with such a great cause. We are very happy to have supported his fundraising efforts and hope he continues to inspire and motivate those struggling with mental health or addiction.”
To find out more about Andy’s challenge, visit https://www.justgiving.com/team/Guinnesswr70consecutivetriathlons
Vistry Mercia is building homes across Staffordshire, Cheshire, Shropshire and the West Midlands.
• Andy Stone during the triathlon challenge, in which he was sponsored £600 by Staffordshire-based housebuilder Vistry Mercia.
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