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Meet our new Sponsored Athlete: Hollie Cradduck!

Hollie Cradduck is currently on a mission to qualify for the Ironman World Championships for the memory of her neice, Rosie. When we heard Hollie's story we just had to help her reach her inspiring goal, and signed her up as a sponsored athelete. Here's Hollie's story in her own words:

In September 2013 I achieved my lifetime goal of becoming an Ironman at Ironman Wales in Tenby. However, after crossing the line in 14 hours my euphoria turned to tragedy when I discovered that my 19 year old niece and best friend Rosie tragically died whilst in Tenby supporting me. This made my experience the best and worst day of my life.

I was only three when Rosie was born and this formed a close sisterly bond. We become inseparable at a young age and continued to be best friends as she grew into a beautiful young lady. Although great friends and more like sisters I was also fiercely protective of Rose as her aunt.

Hollie and Rosie as babies

Hollie and Rosie as kids

Rosie and eleven other members of my family were in Wales supporting me that fateful weekend. Whilst lying awake in bed the night after my Ironman, I promised that I would get to the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in Rosie's honour. In order to do this I need to come first in my age group in an Ironman event (I came third in Wales). I am competing in Ironman Lanzarote in May and in Wales again in September this year to try and qualify for Kona although I won't stop until I get there. This journey will not be an easy one as I am not a natural athlete (I would only do the 1500m at school's sports day as no-one else would and that was a long way back then!) so it has taken a lot of determination and willpower to get to the level of fitness I am at today.

I hope that with Rosie's constant pride in me and the support of my friends, family and followers I will get there.

As well as doing this all this in Rosie’s memory I am also trying to raise money for a cause very close to my heart, SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy). Rosie's death was sudden and unexpected and has left my family with a hole and many unanswered questions. Unbeknown to many there are three epilepsy related deaths a day (that is more than cot death and HIV combined), and this is something I want to raise awareness of. SUDEP Action does invaluable research into epilepsy related deaths as well as offer support to people like me who have suffered the tragic loss of a loved one. Hopefully one day we spare the lives of others and the pain my family have endured

www.justgiving.com/Hollie4Kona

Hollie has been blogging her progress since she first dreamed of becoming an Ironman in February 2013 and continues to write as she makes her way to Kona. Follow her blog here. She also has a Twitter account dedicated to her mission to Kona: @Hollie4Kona. If you'd like to donate to Hollie's SUDEP fundraising efforts, you can do so at her Justgiving page. At time of publication, Hollie is more that half way to her current target of £2000!

Hollie and her Stealth

Hollie with her new Planet X Stealth TT Bike

2 May 2014