Cops will do Ironman for Twincess

Full of joy are Abigail, left, and Isobel

Kev Elliott, left, and Phil Slingsby after a training session for the Ironman Challenge

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

POUNDING the beat will be taken to the extreme by two Bury police officers when they compete in the Bolton Ironman Challenge.

Phil Slingsby, aged 33, and Kev Elliott, aged 38, are set to take on a 112-mile bike ride, a 2.4 mile swim and then a marathon in aid of inspirational twins.

They are tackling the punishing triathlon later this month for Twincess – a campaign launched by colleagues Matt and Jodi Parry to tackle the misconceptions around Down’s Syndrome.

Matt and Jodi, who work in Bury, set up the charitable trust to focus on the positives of the condition after their daughters Abigail and Isobel were diagnosed soon after birth.

The identical twins, who turned three last month, are the poster girls for their parents’ mission to banish misconceptions and provide honest advice.

Phil, who lives in Bolton, thought he may never complete another triathlon after suffering severe knee problems in September, 2011, which doctors could not diagnose.

He was told not to exercise again but through physiotherapy, special training programmes, improving his diet and sheer determination, he is ready to have a go.

Phil said: “I’ve entered Ironman, an event I have never attempted before , to challenge myself and my knees and to have something to tell my two-year-old daughter Hattie about when she is older. I also want to make my wife Sarah and the rest of my family proud.

“I am expecting it to be the hardest day I have ever had, both mentally and physically.”

Kev, who lives in Westhoughton, started running in 2009 and after signing up for Ironman bought a bike — and learned to swim front crawl.

After completing a triathlon at the beginning of last month, he knows the bike section is his weakest discipline and wants to push himself to finish before the cut-off time.

Kev said: “It is inspiring to see how, along with their son Finlay, Matt and Jodi created Twincess following the birth of their beautiful twin daughters, Abigail and Isobel.

“They change the misconceptions and celebrate the positives while offering advice to new parents of children with Down’s Syndrome, and I am proud to be doing something to help them achieve this.”

Phil, who is friends with both Matt and Jodi, has been raising money for the Twincess Campaign since it began. He added: “I cannot think of a more worthy cause. It is very close to my heart.”

The 10th anniversary Ironman competition is on July 20 and consists of a Pennington Flash swim, a new bike route which ends at the Reebok and a 26.2 mile run to Bolton town centre.

To sponsor Kev and Phil, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/kevandphilironmanchallenge For more information about Twincess, go to twincess.co.uk

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