Scottish swimmer and London 2012 silver medallist Michael Jamieson took to his first triathlon like a duck to water Saturday 4 June as he completed Blenheim Palace Triathlon to raise nearly £600 for blood cancer charity Bloodwise. The 27-year-old Glaswegian took part in support of his friend and fellow swimmer Lewis Coleman, who lost his mum to acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).
24-year-old Lewis is a long time supporter of Bloodwise, including organising the Swim4Leukamia event in 2014, trained with Michael at the University of Bath last year. He lost his mother, Mags Coleman, to ALL in November last year at the age of 49, passing away just a day after the birthday of her youngest son – Lewis’s brother Oliver. Mags was diagnosed with ALL in June 2012 but chemotherapy was unsuccessful and she was entered onto a clinical drugs trial before undergoing a stem cell transplant in 2013. Unfortunately, after only a few months in remission, Mags was told that she had relapsed and that the cancer had spread to become terminal.
Jamieson, who trains with the University of Edinburgh swim team, joined a team of seven others at Blenheim Palace, including girlfriend and fellow Glaswegian Gillian Cook. They took part in the sprint distance comprising of a 750 metre swim, 20 kilometre bike and 5 kilometre run, with Michael completing the course in 1 hour 23 minutes and 34 seconds.
He said: “I was delighted to be there supporting Lewis and Bloodwise, and playing a part in raising funds and awareness for the work that the charity does for blood cancer patients. Experiencing the atmosphere and knowing that we were doing it for all the right causes was really special.
“As soon as that gun went off at the start of the swim there was a bit of scrapping and jostling for position in the water between our team but we’re used to that. It was coming off the bike onto the run that was hard work – I couldn’t feel my legs for the first kilometre!”
Bloodwise has a strong presence in Scotland, with over £6million currently invested in blood cancer research projects at Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities.
Matt Lawley, Head of Sport at Bloodwise, says: “It was an absolute pleasure to have Michael join us at Blenheim Triathlon and to witness him getting into his stride for the swim leg and really setting the pace. With the help of his and Gillian’s fundraising efforts the team have raised over £5,000 for Bloodwise, which we are so grateful for. We hope to welcome them back next year!”
Overall the Blenheim Palace Triathlon 2016 is set to raise £400,000 for Bloodwise, to be invested in research for better treatments and cures for blood cancer and support for patients with the disease.
To support Michael please visit www.justgiving.com/michael-jamieson4
Banner image courtesy of Bloodwise