Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle completes triathlon for military charity

A veteran from Cornwall is a real-life ‘hero in a half shell’ after completing a triathlon in a turtle costume in support of Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Simon Backhouse, 45, from Helston, swam 400 metres, cycled 26 kilometres and ran for five kilometres during the Wadebridge Triathlon earlier this month.

Veteran Simon served for 22 years as a Royal Navy Para Commando physical training instructor.

He said:

“I wanted to take on a challenge in memory of my mum and dad and to also show my support to fellow veterans who have lost their sight.

“I ran the last kilometre of the triathlon with the turtle costume hood zipped up; I could see very little through it. I wanted to experience and appreciate what it is like to live with sight loss; I was very emotional at the end.

“The suit itself was extremely heavy as I wore it in the water for the swim and it was raining during the run and the ride so it was soaking.”

Simon finished the triathlon in one hour and 46 minutes and has raised over £800 for Blind Veterans UK.

He said:

“As a physical training instructor for the Navy, I’d been involved in the organisation of triathlons but had never previously taken part in one myself. This was a first and I will do another but maybe not dressed as a turtle.

“The fancy dress was a nod to my military past, 20 years ago those of us on the Navy physical training course went on a night out dressed in turtle costumes so it seemed fitting to wear the outfit again.

“Hopefully the money I’ve raised will be pivotal towards the support for a veteran with sight loss.”

Simon has already raised £808 for Blind Veterans UK. If you would like to support him in raising even more money, please visit his JustGiving page.

If you are inspired to take on your own challenge in June for Armed Forces Month please visit the Blind Veterans UK website for details on how you can get involved: blindveterans.org.uk/armedforcesmonth.

Blind Veterans UK supports thousands of blind veterans across the country but knows there are many thousands more who still need its support to rebuild their lives after sight loss.  

If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces, including National Service, and are now struggling with sight loss, then please get in touch. Call 0800 389 7979 or visit: blindveterans.org.uk/gethelp.