A director at Huddersfield-based chartered accountancy firm Sheards has completed a gruelling triathlon to raise money for two Huddersfield charities.

Carolyn Atkinson was eager to push herself in search of a big challenge. She set her sights on completing an Olympic Triathlon, which meant tackling not just one, but three punishing endurance events in just one day.

Featuring three unique challenges, the triathlon has long been seen as a true test of fitness, endurance and willpower. Just getting to the start line takes months of dedicated training – in Carolyn’s case nine months of training, five days a week. In her first ever triathlon, Carolyn managed to complete the course in under three and a half hours.

Her efforts have helped to raise over £2,000 so far, which will be split between The Kirkwood and the #BeMoreMandy campaign, a charity set up in memory of fundraiser Mandy Taylor, who died of cancer last December.

Swimming, cycling and running her way to the finish line, Carolyn competed at the Southport Triathlon on Sunday May 22, completing the course in three hours, 21 minutes and 51 seconds.

Carolyn said: “There were 600 competitors over in Southport and we were all taking on an Olympic course, which is the longest. You swim 1,500 metres, cycle for 40km and then do a 10k run. Running is the most difficult because your legs are so tired after doing the other stuff.

“The lake we swam in was 15 degrees, and it was filthy. Thankfully we all had wetsuits on. Then came the bike ride! Because I had practised on the hills here in Yorkshire, that was okay.

“It’s really flat in Southport but it was still tough because at least on the hills you can rest on the way down! When it’s flat you have to keep pedalling.”

Carolyn and the team at Sheards are long time supporters of The Kirkwood and are always keen to find new ways to support a cause which is close to their hearts.

Carolyn added: “I am delighted to have raised what I have. The Kirkwood and #BeMoreMandy means a great deal to us all at Sheards. Whenever we do any fundraising, we ask the team who they’d like to put the funds towards, and The Kirkwood is always one of the top charities picked.

“The Kirkwood is an amazing charity which does more than just help people with end of life care, it’s an important charity and organisation to have in our community.”