A REAL life Wonder Woman has completed her fifth triathlon in just a week to raise vital funds for her local hospice.

Helen Massey, who lives in Wrexham, completed five sprint versions of the gruelling race every other day all while continuing to work fulltime for the NHS in Flintshire.

For her last triathlon, which started and finished at Park in the Past in Hope, she was joined by friends, family, including her son Liam and partner Ian Simon, and The Royal Welsh Corps of Drums Association to spur her on.

The Leader:

Helen Massey with her partner Ian Simon

It was the first time the drummers had been able to perform since March.

As the weather was fine, the park was being enjoyed by lots of local people who soon became well-wishers to cheer the 58-year-old on during the swimming and running portions of the challenge.

And, as she cycled to Wrexham and back, she was cheered by many people who had heard of her efforts for their hospice.

The Leader:

Helen at the finish line

After crossing the line, Helen says: "I think the look on my face says how I feel.

"I'm just elated. I'm overwhelmed with all the support I have had and I just felt so proud of myself for achieving what I did.

"It isn't in my mindset not to do it, wild horses would not have stopped me achieving it.

"Last night, not deflated, but am almost ready to do something else."

The Leader:

Helen with her son Liam

She said the sunshine on Sunday was the perfect conditions.

She added: "I think I did it at just the right time. If I had to do the run in the afternoon when it was hotter, I would have done it, but I think I'd have struggled."

"When people saw the drums lining up, they gathered and they were waiting for me. When they were cheering me as I came out of the lake, and I got cheered on the run and on the cycle, it was so good."

For the sprint triathlon Helen completed a 750 metre lake swim, a 12 mile cycle from Hope to Wrexham and back, followed by a 5km run.

That would be enough for most people, but she repeated the course five times in just over a week, with a day's rest between each one. If you can call working fulltime with the Enhanced Community Residential Services in Deeside a rest.

The Leader:

Helen with the drummers

Helen set herself the challenge, after many of the fundraising events she and her friends had planned had to be cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Before the challenge, she said: “Because most of our fundraising events have been obviously curtailed because of the present climate, what I decided to do was that I’d use my fitness somehow. I wanted to challenge myself and I also wanted to raise money and awareness for Nightingale House. So what I came up with is a triathlon every other day for a week, or just over a week."

The Leader:

Helen Massey 'elated' at completing her challenge

She added: “With Nightingale House hospice being in Wrexham it is a cause close to my heart, friends who have had parents who have been there. They are just such lovely people, so if I’m ever doing something I do try and raise money for the hospice.”

Helen smashed her fundraising target of £1,000 and, with sponsorship and collection bucket money still to add up, she is likely to have raised much more.

However, she is still urging anyone inspired by her challenge to support the hospice to do so.

The Leader:

Helen at the lake in Hope

Usually, Helen and her friends would have had other fundraising challenges lined up through the year, and she is pinning her hopes on being able to travel to Peru later this year to raise more money for the hospice.

One her JustGiving Page, Helen adds: “This November, myself and a group of other adventurers are walking the 54km of the Inca Trail in Peru in aid of Nightingale House Hospice, Wrexham.

“Due to the current Covid-19 situation, charities have been impacted due to the postponement and cancellation of fundraising events. Due to the importance of charity donations in the running of the Hospice, any donations would be hugely appreciated.”

To support Helen’s fundraising efforts for Nightingale House visit her page, which will remain active for a few more days, at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/helen-massey2