AN ANGLESEY triathlete will embark on one final challenge to raise funds to support a close friend suffering from cancer.
Llandegfan father-of-two Alan Owen, aged 44, will pit himself against the gruelling Wales Ironman Triathlon on September 14.
Renowned as one of the country’s toughest races, Alan will take on an eye-watering 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike ride before finishing off with all 26.2 miles of a full marathon.
Alan, who after a 30-year rugby career decided to take up marathon running and triathlons, has dedicated his final major challenge to close friend Irfon Williams, from Bangor, who is fighting bowel cancer and has launched the well-known #teamirfon fundraising campaign.
Mr Owen said: “What I’m going through, you can’t compare it with what Irfon is going through. I’m doing it to try and help him.”
“I’ve never known anyone so positive and he’s doing a fantastic job in raising awareness about cancer.
“He knows he’s got hard times ahead but what he’s doing is taking his focus away from it.
“He’s a very popular boy so everyone is trying to get behind him.”
In preparation for the Triathlon, Alan has lined up another pair of arduous challenges in August in the shape of the Big Swim across the Menai Straits and the Five Peaks Challenge - a tough trial which invites participants to scale all five of the UK’s highest mountains within a 48 hour period.
Mr Owen added: “To be honest, my fitness level is the best that it’s ever been, but my body’s saying no more.
“I’m training every day at the moment. You have to train up your body to make sure you’ve got the base fitness.
“It’s not been easy, you have to fit things around the family, but the support I’ve had from them has been incredibly important.”
To support Alan’s challenge, visit www.justgiving.com/Alan-Owen1.