An ultimate effort

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A SUPER-FIT mum has dreamed up a novel way of helping her local hospice.

Claire Brannen, who runs Claire’s Ultimate Fitness on Hartlepool’s Headland, is urging people to take part in a sponsored triathlon in aid of Hartlepool and District Hospice.

Around 30 people, including members of Claire’s fitness classes, have already signed up to the charity challenge, which includes a one-hour circuit-training class, followed by a three-mile run to Mill House Leisure Centre, and then a half-mile swim at the centre.

Claire, 29, who lives in the King Oswy area of town, is urging others to join in and raise much-needed funds for the hospice, which cared for her aunt, Liz Middleton, before she passed away in 1994.

Headland man John Wallace, grandfather of Claire’s Ultimate Fitness members Leanne and Natalie Glaister, who are taking part, also died in the hospice.

After the circuit class, participants will run to the leisure centre via Cleveland Road and Lancaster Road, before doing 24 lengths in the pool.

But Claire says people do not have to be super-fit and people with all levels of ability can take part.

And she said it was not just women signing up. F four men have put their name forward and more are needed.

Claire, who is mum to 12-year-old St Hild’s pupil Alisha Brannen, said: “Quite a lot of the girls who I work with have relatives who died in the hospice, as well as members of my own family.

“So it was the obvious charity we would chose to benefit.

“If it wasn’t for people still raising money for the hospice it wouldn’t be there. It’s an absolute god-send.”

Claire said the group hopes to raise at least £2,000 for the hospice and there are also plans for the girls from her fitness classes to take part in sponsored bag-packing at Morrisons supermarket and add proceeds to the money raised from the triathlon.

Trained kick-boxer Claire, who has been running her fitness sessions at the Horsely Buildings, in Northgate for five years, added: “We didn’t just want to do a sponsored walk, we wanted something different.”

Claire, who started out running three classes and now has 23, with plans to start kids’ classes, said people are paying £10 to take part in the event and most are being sponsored to do so.

The sponsored triathlon takes place at 1pm, on March 13, and anyone wanting more information can call Claire on 07779371558.