Scott, who now lives in Reading and works in Medical Affairs for a pharmaceutical company, put himself to the test on 20th May with a 750m swim, a 20km cycle and a 5km run.
Scott took on the challenge in memory of his partner’s father, who died of Motor Neurone Disease in March 2018. MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles. This may cause someone to lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink or breathe unaided.
Scott’s partner, Jenny Woolfson, also lives in Reading but is originally from Glasgow and her father, Keith Brassett, lived in Glasgow for over 20 years, where he was self-employed as an engineer.
Scott said “I completed the Banbury triathlon on behalf of Jenny’s dad. He was a kind and generous man, who made friends wherever he went and who had an optimism that not even MND could disturb. He was diagnosed with MND in 2015 after he noticed his leg dragging, assuming it was the symptoms of a stroke or trapped nerve. After a long battle with MND, Keith passed away in March this year.”
Inspired by Keith’s strength and courage in the face of a devastating prognosis, Scott took on the challenge to raise awareness of, and funds for, MND Scotland.
Talking about the triathlon and his training, he said “I would say I’m fairly fit and active, but I work in an office so I guess I could be much fitter. I go to the gym and take part sporadically in other sports, but I really needed something to focus on and stay motivated for. I have some friends who have completed triathlons and it seemed like an ambitious challenge. So I figured I’d give it a go. Training for one event is challenging enough, so why not train for three separate events at once?
“Training had its ups and downs. Starting out, I thought ‘well I can swim, I can cycle and I can run so this will be a doddle’. But actually, running straight off the bike is a totally different feeling. In the triathlon community they call the cycle to run transition ‘BRICK’ training – and I think this is because of that heavy cement-like feeling you get in your legs.
“For a while the training was going amazingly well but then I started getting a lot of knee pain so had to pull back a little bit. So, I was feeling pretty nervous, but managed a time of 1 hour, 39 minutes. It’s 9 minutes slower than my target place but I’ll settle for just having finished.”
As well as the personal achievement of completing a triathlon, Scott also wanted to give back to charity MND Scotland, who helped Keith’s family through their journey with MND.
Scott said “Keith and his partner Vivienne benefited greatly from the services offered by MND Scotland during his illness, and the kindness and dedication of those who work for MND Scotland. Keith was able to borrow equipment such as hoists and eye gaze machinery, as well as holidaying in a fully accessible chalet in Oban.
“Keith was hopeful that a cure for MND would be found to prevent future generations suffering the same fate. So far, Jenny and her sister Deborah have raised over £2,500 for MND Scotland, in the hope that many others will benefit from the services provided by MND Scotland. I completed the Banbury Triathlon with Keith in mind, and to raise as much money as possible for this wonderful cause. Originally my target was to raise £500 but thanks to the generosity of friends, family and co-workers the total raised is now over £1,000! I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has donated – it really means a lot to me and Jenny.”
Iain McWhirter, MND Scotland’s head of fundraising, said “We want to congratulate Scott on his triathlon and thank him for supporting MND Scotland in the process. Doing a run, cycle or swim alone would be an achievement in itself but to do all three in a row is just incredible. Without amazing supporters, like Scott, we wouldn’t be able to continue supporting people affected by MND in Scotland, and funding research into a cure. Thank you.”
You can support Scott by donating online at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ScottMilliken.