Triple fitness challenge boosts hospice

Claire Brannen (front row, second right) and members of Claire's Ultimate Fitness outside Mill House Leisure Centre before their 24 lengths of the pool. Picture by DAVE THOMPSON
Claire Brannen (front row, second right) and members of Claire's Ultimate Fitness outside Mill House Leisure Centre before their 24 lengths of the pool. Picture by DAVE THOMPSON
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SUPERFIT wonderwomen sprang into action with an endurance challenge for charity.

Members of Claire’s Ultimate Fitness took part in a sponsored triathlon to raise much-needed cash for Hartlepool and District Hospice.

The efforts of the 23 members of the gym, run by Claire Brannen, in Northgate, on the Headland, managed to raise more than £4,000 for the cause.

The women, and Claire’s partner, Darren Hedley, 35, took part in a circuit class before jogging three miles from the Headland gym to Mill House Leisure Centre and then swimming 24 lengths of the pool.

Claire, 29, who lives in the King Oswy Drive area of town, said the action was non-stop for the participants, as they had been training beforehand.

She added: “It was absolutely brilliant and I’m over the moon with the amount raised.”

The members, who with the exception of Darren were dressed in pink tutus, leg warmers and feather boas, took part in the circuit class before running to Mill House via Cleveland Road, Lancaster Road and the streets behind the Raglan Quoit Club.

After a quick change into their swimsuits, they dived in for the swimming part of the triathlon.

When their mammoth effort was complete, they rewarded themselves with a drink in the nearby Mill House pub.

Claire, who is mum to 12-year-old St Hild’s pupil Alisha Brannen, said: “We had boot camp the next day and about seven of them didn’t turn up.

“They were all texting me saying ‘I’m in agony’, but they all said it was worth it and they would do it again.”

The triathlon was held in aid of the hospice as Claire’s aunt Liz Middleton was cared for at the facility before she passed away in 1994.

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

The members hope to boost the money raised with a sponsored bag-packing session at Morrisons on April 23.

Hospice chief executive Tracy Woodall said: “On behalf of all the patients and staff at the hospice we would like to say a massive thank you to the ladies from Claire’s Ultimate Fitness for the amazing challenge they conquered to raise much needed funds for us.

“It must take an incredible amount of discipline and personal strength to achieve such a feat and I have total admiration for them all.

“The incredible amount of money raised will help us care for people in our community who need kindness and support from a range of health professionals to deal with their illnesses.

“Well done to all.”