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What a Challenge!

23 Apr 2015

EACH WEEK Herald Express Sport features a columnist – someone who  has a story to tell ... This week, we hear from Jo Coish, who has set herself  the challenge of completing all six of this year's GeoPark Adventure's events,  starting with this weekend's Donut Duathlon...

"Two years ago I was stood in the freezing cold waiting to start the first  Dartington Duathlon thinking – can I do this? Am I mad?

I had never done a race like this – a 7.5k run and 20k on a bike as well –  and it was a very scary thought.

I had recently been on a cycling confidence course, which showed how nervous  I was, and I had only ridden my bike a few times.

 

But there were plenty of other mad people around me in the freezing cold  weather, so I thought there must be something good about it?

A 5k run, 20k bike ride and 2.5k run later I was hooked.

I began looking for more races and I started doing more events – 10k runs,  half marathons, duathlons and triathlons.

And then came 2015 – what to do now?

Along came GeoPark Adventures, who say they will offer me the chance to do  six of their events for free if I blog about it – and be part of a team of  people also training for their events.

I thought I had to do all the events to be part of the team – but I soon  learned, I didn't have to do all of them.

However, I needed a big challenge, so I thought 'let's get on and do all of  them' anyway…

Three months later, my father-in-law died of asbestos-related lung cancer, so  I decided to raise money for Rowcroft Hospice.

They gave fantastic care to him in the last weeks of his life and amazing  support to the family.

Maybe attempting all the GeoPark Adventure events in 2015 was a great thing  to do after all – if I can raise money for this fantastic charity!

So which events am I taking on?

This Saturday I am doing the Donut Duathlon at Clennon Valley and the Torbay  Velopark (5km run, 15km ride, 2.5km run).

This will start with a super flat mixed terrain run around the Clennon Valley  parkland. Then we hop on to tour bikes for laps of the full Velopark course,  before getting back into our running shoes for a quick finish.

The event is chip timed and is going to be super-fast and great for  spectators and with plenty of excitement.

Then I am signed up for the English Riviera Triathlon on the May bank holiday  weekend – and this festival of triathlon will feature senior and junior races on  the Sunday morning and afternoon.

The totally off-highway triathlon is the perfect way for anyone to start in  the sport, with a pool-based swim, followed by a Velopark ride and a parkland  run.

Then it is the GeoPark Trithlon on August 2, or the 'GeoTri' for short, which  was first staged in 2014 in stunning conditions.

With a few tweaks to the bike course, this is the 'jewel in the crown' of  GeoPark Adventure events.

It is one of the most challenging 'standard' distance triathlons in the  country with scenery to match the best in the world!

On August 30 there is the GeoSwim, staged in the sheltered waters off  Goodrington Sands. All competitors will experience open water swimming at its  very best.

What's so exciting about this course is the natural arena that is created by  the cliffs at both ends of the beach and the wonderful spectator promenade on  North Beach. Spectators will be able to cheer on every stroke as the competitors  swim along the sea wall.

Fifth on my agenda will be October's GeoSportive, the English Riviera's first  and only cycle sportive cycle race, now in its second year.

This exciting event will start and finish at the Velopark and all competitors  will complete a lap of the VeloPark to start and finish their Sportive – with  the option of the 40km or 80km distance.

And the final GeoPark event of the year will be the English Riviera's  ultimate off road run – the Riviera Rock Run.

This exciting new event will be at Goodrington Beach and competitors will run  12km along the stunning coastal path.

Set in some of the most beautiful coast and countryside Britain has to offer,  this 12km run will be a challenge to first timers and experienced runners  alike.

So there you are – those are the six races I am entered for… starting with  this weekend's Donut Duathlon."

Wish me luck – and if you want to do more than just wish me luck, then  please sponsor me by going to www.justgiving.com/owner-email/pleasesponsor/JoCoi...

And for more information at the GeoPark events – and how to enter them,  go to www.geoparkadventure.com/collections/all

Read more: http://www.torquayheraldexpress.co.uk/COLUMNIST-Jo-Coish-set-challenge-completing/story-26374360-detail/story.html#ixzz3Y9QEFKv7 Follow us: @TQHeraldExpress on Twitter | theheraldexpress on Facebook