Blind veteran overcomes arduous Hartlepool swim, cycle and run

David (right) coming out of the dock with chaperone Darrel Slater
David (right) coming out of the dock with chaperone Darrel Slater

An army veteran who has lost most of his sight achieved a personal best when he completed a daunting triathlon in Hartlepool.

David Cranson, 63, finished this year’s Hartlepool Big Lime Triathlon in an impressive two hours, five minutes and five seconds.

David Cranson

David Cranson

It was his third event and has taken part in the challenging event for the last two years in a row.

In the process he raised over £400 for the town’s Alice House Hospice.

The triathlon consisted of a 750-metre swim in Hartlepool marina, a 20-kilometre bike ride along the sea front at Seaton Carew and a 5-kilometre run from Maritime Avenue to Seaton Carew and back.

David, who lost his sight through a hereditary condition, completed it with the help of his friend and fellow Hartlepool Triathlete Club member Darrel Slater.

Dave, who is 90% blind, said: “I can’t thank Darrel enough. He is so patient with me in the water.

“It is quite daunting being in that water and being on the bike going whatever speed we do.”

David, who was a heavy artillery driver between 1971-75, said he was once again inspired by the support of the crowds throughout the course.

“I was choked up when I came out of the water,” he said.

“They were shouting my name and when I jumped on the bike they were still screaming.

“The Hartlepool people are terrific.”

He raised £243 in sponsorship for the hospice in addition to the £212 he raised last year, following the suggestion from a friend.

David added: “I have got a great relationship with the hospice. It is not me, it is the people in the town who sponsored me who raised it.”

The hospice’s community fundraiser Janice Forbes said: “On behalf on everyone at the Hospice I would like to congratulate David on this great achievement, he is a truly inspirational guy and a fantastic supporter of the hospice.

“Everything raised will be used to fund patient care.”

David thanked the following for their support; Steve Hilton and staff at the Civic Centre; Market Place Barbers; staff and customers of the King Johns Tavern; Steve Ryan and staff of Ryan’s Fruit and Veg Stall, Sharon of S&L News, Special Occasions, Middleton Grange security and cleaning staff, staff of The Pound Shop, Boots, First Class, O2 shop, Scrivens Opticians, Halifax Building Society and Mill House Leisure Centre where he trains twice a week.