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On Sunday 11th June 2017, Tim Albiston and 10 of his friends from Durham University days will be taking part in the ITU’s World Triathlon in Leeds. Competing as 4 separate relay teams in the Olympic distance event, it will be the first triathlon for most of the individuals, but it is something that they all want to do to raise money for Bone Cancer Research Trust in memory of Tim’s son Alexander Albiston.
The 11 individuals have remained great friends despite it being over 33 years since they graduated from Durham University in the early 1980s. The individuals making up the relay teams are as follows:
Team 1: Michael Silver (Swim), Tim Albiston (Bike), Stuart Mason (Run)
Team 2: Glen Taylor (Swim). Josh Crookes (Bike), Steven Silver (Run)
Team 3: David Pearson * (Swim), Ian Reed (Bike), Andy Mclennaghan (Run)
Team 4: Pete Murphy (Swim), Karl Jankowski (Bike), Mark Neville (Run)
* David has volunteered to support Team 3 in the absence of a 4th Durham swimmer.
In March 2010 Tim, tragically lost his son Alex at just 18 years old to bone cancer. All of the individuals taking part in the event were close to Alex's story through their friendship with Tim. Alex was an inspirational young man. He was an immensely popular individual being both an outstanding student (he was due to study at Cambridge University) and excellent sportsman (he played football for the academy at Sheffield Wednesday FC). You can read all about his story at www.alexalbiston.co.uk.
This fundraising event is perhaps the pinnacle of a very unique friendship of friends made at university. All of those competing in the triathlon were very active in sport during their Durham days and although they are all now in their mid to late 50s, their competitive spirit has not waned and the success will not just be measured by completing the event, but also by beating their rival teams.
Alex Albiston was really keen to raise funds for research into bone cancer and his favourite charity was the Bone Cancer Research Trust which is dedicated to saving lives and improving outcomes for people affected by primary bone cancer. Despite being a very small charity they are the leading funders of research into this cruel disease - with more research projects exploring primary bone cancer than any other organisation.
Since Alex passed away, his family and friends have raised over £103,000 from lots of different activities and challenges and we are delighted to have an opportunity to add to this total by competing in this triathlon in his memory.