Alan Alsop, Regional Safety, Health, and Environmental Advisor at Miller Homes East Midlands has raised a whopping £1,500 for Children First Derby after successfully completing one of the UK’s toughest Triathlon’s - Bolton’s famous Ironman UK event.

Earlier this year, new homes builder, Miller Homes East Midlands, voted to support Children First Derby as their chosen regional charity partner. And the housebuilder’s East Midlands team, based at Pride Park Derby, were quick to initiate their fundraising activities with employees completing a walking challenge, ‘March for March’, raising £1,676 for our charity.

Alan, who had voted to support Children First Derby said:

I entered the Ironman Bolton event to raise further funds for this great charity. I believe that every child, regardless of vulnerabilities, physical or mental status, should have access to strong support and opportunities to grow and become empowered individuals.

Originally hoping to run the London Marathon, it proved increasingly difficult for Alan to get a place, so he set his sights on the Ironman challenge instead. Incredibly, when Alan signed up to take part in the Ironman Bolton event, he had never been on a road bike before and wasn’t particularly proficient at swimming either!

Having worked out a 12-month training plan, which included one-to-one swimming lessons and cycling at the gym, Alan was met with further challenges when another lockdown closed the gyms and swimming pools. Meaning, although he was able to keep on top of his running and take his cycling training to the roads, he had to make up for lost time when the pools eventually re-opened, swimming every day that followed to catch up.

The gruelling event was a massive 140.6 miles in total, consisting of a 2.4-mile open water swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride, and finishing with a full marathon race of 26.2 miles.

Known for its iconic spectator support, incredible North-West scenery, as well as its hilly cycle and running routes, this annual Ironman event is a tough but popular challenge which saw over a thousand athletes take part.

Each stage saw the competitors face tough time deadlines to meet to progress to the next stage. In total the athletes had 17 hours in which to complete all three stages and Alan was delighted to finish in 12 hours and 43 minutes. With his total times as follows: 2.4-mile open water swim in 1 hour 18 mins, 112-mile bike ride in 6 hours 40 mins and the 26.2-mile Marathon in 4 hours and 17 mins.

Alan said:

The main challenges I faced took part in the 12 months leading up to the event, where I had to train every day and spent hours every weekend in the Peak District on my bike. On the day itself, I knew I’d done everything I could to prepare and so I embraced it and I really enjoyed it. And despite the torrential rain on the day itself, the support from the spectators was phenomenal and absolutely made it.

Alan’s target was to raise a £1,000 for Children First Derby and he has been overwhelmed with the support from his fellow Miller Homes employees, which saw him smash his target to reach an incredible £1,500.

The team at Children First Derby would like to say a HUGE congratulations to Alan for all his hard work and determination which saw him successfully finish the event in a great time. We would also like to say a BIG Thank You to Alan and to everyone at Miller Homes for your incredible support - helping us to support vulnerable children, young people, and families across Derbyshire.