Pat Lewis, who is originally from Welshpool but has recently moved to Condover, near Shrewsbury, has taken part in the Montgomery Canal Triathlon for the past three years with his nephews Jonathan and Tim.
May 2 was supposed to be the fourth time that the team tackled the event, which starts at Newtown and includes a 17-mile cycle along the towpath, before an 11-mile walk, and then a seven-mile row that finishes as the Montgomery canal meets the Llangollen canal midway between Oswestry and Ellesmere.
“I had planned to do it this year to raise money for Hope House because Margaret Pepper, the president of Welshpool Inner Wheel, had picked Hope House as her chosen charity for the year,” said Pat.
“Between us we had raised almost £3,000 in sponsorship so when the event was cancelled I had to think of a different way of completing it at home.”
Pat decided to cycle 17 miles on his exercise bike, and do the 11-mile walk near to his home in Condover Park, observing social distancing regulations. He then climbed aboard his rowing machine to finish the challenge.
“I started at 8am and I finished at 6.30pm and by then I could hardly get off of my water rower! I had to crawl on my hands and knees,” said Pat.
“It wasn’t as much fun as doing it with my nephews and their friends because we have a lot of banter and it’s a really sociable and enjoyable day. We also end up in the pub for a celebration meal.
“But it was important to carry on because I know Hope House is going to lose at least £1 million in fundraising through events being cancelled and I know it is a real struggle at the moment.
“I am hoping that, with Gift Aid, we will raise over £4,000. I only wish it could be more.”
Lynsey Kilvert, Hope House fundraising team leader, said that Pat had been a great supporter of the charity for many years.
“There was no way he was going to give up and we can’t thank him enough for everything he has done,” she said.
“To raise £4,000 at the current time is a fabulous thing to do, and the money will be a huge help in providing crisis and end-of-life care to children at Hope House.”
Anyone who wants to support Pat’s fundraiser can do so at justgiving.com/fundraising/pat-lewis2