ACTION man Jeremy Webster is not one to shirk a challenge - but this summer he is facing his toughest test of all.
The 48-year-old Brighouse businessman is in training for eight endurance events, starting in April and finishing in August, which will see him cycling, running and swimming in a supreme test of mind over matter.
Jeremy’s father, Mr Terence Webster, founder of Websters Insurance Brokers, died last year of a stroke. Before his death he had suffered from Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade.
Jeremy said: “This had a dramatic effect not only on his quality of health and retirement but also on all of our family. I also grew up seeing my grandfather suffering from Parkinson’s and will never forget the constant shaking that affected him. I have decided to raise awareness and money to aid in finding a cure for such a terrible disease.”
The first event in Jeremy’s gruelling programme is the Baildon Boundary Run of 13 miles in April.
After that he will take part in the London Marathon, the Mountain Bike Marathon in Wales, the Coast to Coast Morecambe to Bridlington cycle ride, the 110 miles Etape du Dales in the Yorkshire Dales and the Bala half Ironman.
But the most testing and gruelling event will be the seventh - the first fully off-road X-Man Triathlon which is taking place on the South Downs in July. It will involve a 2.4 mile sea swim, a 112 mile off-road cycle ride and a 26 mile trail run - a non-stop journey that will push participants to the limits of endurance.
Said Jeremy: “It takes the standard long distance triathlon format and turns the volume right up to 11!
“The cycle ride is mostly through the night during hours of darkness and we have to carry all the food we need to keep us going. We will be going through some awe-inspiring landscapes but the terrain will be tough and there will be climbs of more than 10,000 feet in total.”
His eighth event will be the Zee am See half Ironman in Austria in August which he predicts will be ‘like a bit of a holiday’ after the epic challenge of the previous event.
“I am doing that with a group of mates and hopefully celebrating the successful completion of all eight events,” he said.
A keen football and rugby union player when he was younger, Jeremy is a member of Leeds Bradford Triathlon Club and regularly cycles 140 miles at weekends.
“In a way the early events in April and May will become part of my training schedule for the tougher ones in July and August.
“I like a challenge and the great thing about endurance events is that you’re not competing against anyone else, you’re only competing against yourself.”
Jeremy competed in his first Triathlon eight years ago and his first Ironman three years ago.
“There are days when it’s hard getting up in the dark, cold and wet to go training but you just have to do it,” he said. “It really does take a lot of patience and support from my wife and family.”
l To support Jeremy or make a donation to Parkinson’s UK call at Webster’s Insurance, Commerical Street, Brighouse or go online at uk.virginmoneygiving.com.