06/04/20

A Ceredigion man will raise money for the Wales Air Ambulance Charity by undertaking a gruelling Ironman challenge – in his conservatory.

41-year-old Russell Williams, a regular Ironman competitor from Penparc, will take on the mammoth challenge later this week and will do so from his own home as Wales continues to battle against the Coronavirus pandemic.

Russell’s ‘Conservatory Ironman’ will see him row 2.4 miles on a rowing machine (instead of the usual swim), ride 112 miles on an exercise bike and run the marathon length of 26.2 miles on a treadmill.

 An AA patrolman by day, Russell has completed 7 Ironman competitions so far. This is even more remarkable as he suffered a heart attack at the age of 28.

Russell explained: “Wales Air Ambulance is such an important service for us in rural Wales. I saw an article saying that charities would be struggling for donations because of the Coronavirus outbreak, so I wanted to help.

“I’m also missing competing. One of the Ironman events I was planning to do this year is not going ahead because of the virus. I’m fit enough and well enough to do an Ironman, so I thought I would do one while fundraising at the same time.”

Russell has set a target of raising £500 for the Wales Air Ambulance Charity and people can donate via his Just Giving page - https://justgiving.com/fundraising/russell-williams15.

 James Cordell, the Charity’s Ceredigion Community Coordinator, said: “Every Ironman event is an incredible personal challenge for each competitor. The fact that Russell is setting himself this physical and mental goal is praiseworthy enough but the fact that he is using this opportunity to raise money for our lifesaving service at the same time is amazing.

 “Wales, like the rest of the world, continues to do what is necessary to protect society from the threat of COVID-19. The current restrictions have meant a change in the way that charities like ours can raise funds. We will see a significant decrease in donations from public-facing activities, such as challenge events, social gatherings and bucket collections. We now have to become innovative in the way that we raise money and Russell’s Ironman in the conservatory is a great example of this.”

Last week, the Wales Air Ambulance Charity launched an emergency appeal. As an important front-line service in the Welsh healthcare landscape, Wales’ air ambulance service has a vital role in the response to the current pandemic, as well as continuing to attend non-virus-related medical incidents.

There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance. These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home – like Russell. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com.

Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.