A SIX-YEAR-OLD and 11 of her friends completed their own mini Ironman Triathlon to raise money for a children’s hospice.

Evie Rutherford and some of her friends, with the support of her parents Simon and Zoe, raised over £1,300 for Derian House Children’s Hospice.

To support their fundraising, Horwich Leisure Centre provided free use of the pool for their challenge.

It comes after Evie’s dad, Simon, set her a challenge in March to ride as many miles as she could throughout the month to raise money for Derian House.

She rose to the challenge and together they rode a magnificent 71 miles, but they didn’t want to stop there.

Simon decided to run the Great North Run (13.1 miles) which is set to take place on September 12, and Evie, along with her friends, thought they too could do something to fundraise for the charity and, being inspired by the Ironman event that took place at the beginning of the month, decided to take part in a mini triathlon last Saturday.

Evie said: “When my dad said he was going to run the Great North Run to help Derian House, I told him that I would like to help fundraise with him and that I would like my friends to help raise money for the poorly children and their families.”

The youngsters - Evie, Olivia, Gianna, Sophia, Caitlin, Elodie, Jack, Benji, Lewis, Freddie, William and Archie - completed a 50m swim at Horwich Leisure Centre followed by a one-mile run and a three-mile bike ride at Bolton Arena.

Mahendra Patel, contract manager for Bolton Community Leisure, said: “When Evie’s mum contacted us about the challenge she wanted to do for this wonderful charity we were inspired by her enthusiasm and commitment so were very happy to support Evie and her friends to ensure they could complete the triathlon.

“The children were all amazing, it is a fantastic achievement and I hope that they continue to keep fundraising through exercise,” he added.

Zoe, Evie’s mum said: “The children were amazing on the day, their team spirit shone through with the children chanting the names of their friends, encouraging them to keep going and clapping for each other.

“The parents, grandparents and friends were so proud of each and every one of them.”

n You can still sponsor the group of young children at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/simon-rutherford1.