Ironwoman Ila in charity challenge for brave Daisy

Ila Pearson of Banbury is taking on the Ironman charity challenge
Ila Pearson of Banbury is taking on the Ironman charity challenge

Hospitality account executive Ila Pearson is taking part in her first Ironman challenge to raise money for a brave young relative who lost her limbs after surviving meningitis.

Ila, 34, said: “Daisy Pashley is the 11-year-old daughter of my cousin.

“She was diagnosed with the deadly disease in December 2010 and the whole family has taken part in various fundraising events. My aunt even did a skydive – now that really is crazy.”

But Ila’s beginning to think her own charity challenge – the Lanzarote Ironman on May 21 – is equally insane.

She explained: “It’s tough, hot, desolate and hilly. It’s not a race you can turn up to and just ‘wing.’

“It deserves the respect it’s given as the most demanding Ironman on the circuit, consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile marathon – completed in that order and without a break.
“Commitment to the training is tough and learning each discipline is really not that easy – all those hours in the water, on the bike or on the run.

“You hear how hard it is, then you do it yourself.”

Ila has taken part in numerous competitive events in the past and has always promised herself she’d never do anything like an Olympic triathlon again, having come off her bike several times and finished second to last.

But she confessed: “We all have short-term memory loss when it comes to race pain and probably entering my first Ironman so soon after the last disaster wasn’t my most sensible move.

“But when I start doubting myself, I think this is for Meningitis Now and also as a trubute to Daisy, an amazing young girl.”

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