A MAN who has completed more than 20 charity triathlons despite having a crippling fear of the water is challenging himself to do three back-to-back events for Solihull Marie Curie.
Martyn Abbotts is hoping to raise £1,000 for the cause by taking part in the Blenheim Open Water Triathlon at Woodstock which attracts up to 7,200 worldwide competitors every year.
So far he has made £350 and is hoping his fellow Silhillians can help him smash his target.
The 44-year-old is one of 20 to be selected to attempt multiple triathlons as part of the event’s Weekend Warriors challenge, on June 4 and 5.
Since 2011 Martyn has donated thousands of pounds to the cause.
After fracturing his ankle at an event last year he even decided to retire – but ended up changing is mind as the desire to raise cash won out.
“The people who go to Marie Curie are poorly so can’t raise the money, but I can,” he said.
“I did seven events at different times last year, but this year I wanted to challenge myself to see how many I can do over the whole weekend.”
Martyn, who trains six days a week starting from 5.30am, has the help of his friendly companion Max the dog who runs with him three times a week, covering up to eight miles at a time.
He also goes bike riding twice a week – clocking up 40 miles a time – and attends spinning and bodyfit classes.
But despite being in top physical condition, it is a crippling fear of water that proves to be his biggest obstacle every time he takes on a challenge.
“I’m absolutely petrified of the water – I get scared just talking about it,” he told The Observer.
“I would be alright if it was in a pool and I could touch the floor but it’s deep and dark and dirty and I don’t know what is down there.
“I have done between 20 and 30 of these events but every time I get in the water I panic.
“I don’t know why I keep doing it – but raising the money is the most important thing.”
Martyn is fundraising for Marie Curie as he is so impressed by the amazing care the hospice provides to terminally ill people across the region.
He first began helping the hospice when he and his wife became volunteers – and the relationship has continued to blossom into his fundraising feats.
“It is such a wonderful hospice and we just wanted to help,” he added.
“If I can raise £1,000 it will be the highest amount we have raised so far.”
Martyn is also inviting borough companies who would like to sponsor him to have their logos on his T-shirt on the day of the event, which will be broadcast on TV.
Visit www.justgiving.com/Martyn-Abbotts to support the cause and his efforts.