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Gaywood man is a charity champ after challenges

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A man from Gaywood has kept his father’s name alive with pride after coming through a five-day test of stamina for charity.

Nick Franklin, 30, swam for six miles, cycled for 28 miles and managed 65 miles of running to raise money for the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and West Norfolk Mind.

The challenges have raised more than £4,500 which will be split equally between the three charities.

Family and friends welcomed Nick back to his former home town of Holbeach for celebratory drinks after the last leg of his challenge, which ran from Tuesday, March 20, to Saturday, March 24.

Nick said: “The physical toll was very demanding, but it was a psychological effort as well purely because I was in the routine of getting up at 5.15am to be in the swimming pool for 6.30am and not sitting down until 8pm or 8.30pm at night.

“I could feel the body just naturally slowing down and was finding it a little harder to function from time to time.”

Nick said on each of the five days, he averaged between seven and eight hours of exercising.

He lost his father Graham to a heart attack at the age of 52 in October 2009.

Since his passing, Nick has fundraised for the British Heart Foundation.

He said: “The support over the five days was just absolutely overwhelming and with the impact of social media, it was almost as if I had celebrity status because people were just talking about the challenge and the magnitude of it.

“It felt like I was the talk of the town, having ‘Good Luck’ messages from people I didn’t know but who thought what I was doing was amazing.

“Thank you to everyone who sponsored and supported me in achieving my challenge.

“A special thank you to Chosen, a charity shop in Holbeach, who donated £1,000 to the challenge.”

Nick’s triumphant return to Holbeach on March 24, and donations for his challenge, took the total amount raised for the British Heart Foundation over the last eight years past the £10,000 mark.

It includes money raised by a charity football match, karaoke and raffle in Holbeach, held in May 2010, and a 48-hour static bike ride by Nick in September 2011.

Two years later, Nick did his first five-day “marathon” of cycling, running and climbing Britain’s Three Peaks (Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon in Wales).

Nick said: “When you have a reason to do something, you just don’t give up.

“I could never imagine the finish line until I got through the fifth day because I could have got injured or knocked off my bike.”

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