Three students have completed a triathlon challenge to raise awareness of the men’s mental health charity which they serve as ambassadors for, blOKes UK.
Charlie Yau, 21, a former King William’s College student and Durham University graduate, said that they had chosen the island as ‘the perfect place’ for a triathlon.
This was the first time he had ever run such a distance.
Meanwhile, fellow ambassadors and rugby players Oliver Strudwick, from Edinburgh, cycled 180km over seven hours, and Tom Fitzgerald, from London, swam 3.8 kilometres in a faster than expected one hour and 31 minutes.
Charlie got food poisoning the night before, and though he did not want to drop out of the run and let the team down, he said it was more challenging than expected ‘considering the fact that every time I took on some kind of food, I was vomiting it back up’.
He added: ‘Essentially I hadn’t had any carbohydrates for more than 12 hours, including during the race, so I was running on an empty tank and there were a lot of cramps.’
Things were also made difficult by the 27 degree heat on Sunday (August 14).
After the three finished their respective challenges, a crowd of friends, family and members of the public gathered by the Terminus Tavern at the end of the Douglas Promenade, to hear them give a speech about mental health.
In his speech, Charlie said: My personal experience as being a blOKes ambassador, and throughout our time at Durham meeting at a rugby club, we can definitely say there is a male stigma and toxic masculinity (around men talking).
‘This is what we’re trying to break down.
‘I’ve personally had close friends who would come and open up to me for around 40 minutes on a night out.’
People who they chatted with after included nurses and other from the hospital, and a psychologist who worked with teenagers.
Over £2,100 has been raised in total so far, with Charlie giving special thanks to Ramsey Crookall which gave them a £500 cheque.
The group’s fundraising page can be found by searching ‘Charlie, Tom and Ollie’ on JustGiving and scrolling down to ‘crowdfunders’.