Yorkshire teacher's epic triathlon record attempts for SSAFA forces charity

Secondary school teacher from Silsden, Sam Boatwright, who is about to take on a mamouth feat of endurance. Picture: Tony Johnson.
Secondary school teacher from Silsden, Sam Boatwright, who is about to take on a mamouth feat of endurance. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Maths teacher Sam Boatwright admits he is a sucker for punishment – but only when he is aiming for something positive.

The father is raising funds for SSAFA, an Armed Forces charity, with an “epic” solo triathlon, and also hopes to break some world records along the way.

Starting July 22, he will swim across the English Channel to France and back, having only learned to swim well just three months ago.

After that, he aims to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats in a world-beating 44 hours.

Then the 36-year-old will run all the way back to Land’s End, pacing 100 miles during each of the nine days of the journey – another record attempt.

Mr Boatwright works two jobs – as a teacher at Forest Moor School near Harrogate and at Sandylands Fitness Centre in Skipton – to afford the £10,000 he needs to do the challenge. He wants to show his pupils that they can only achieve success through hard work. Mr Boatwright, of Silsden, said: “I don’t like suffering, I like what suffering brings. I like the results that suffering brings.”

He added: “I had hard from a lot of people that the Ironman was the toughest race in the world. I just thought, ‘I will do the Ironman and times it by 20’.”

But this latest challenge – in 2012 he ran 50 miles for 50 days and in 2017 journeyed from New York to LA by running 50 miles one day and cycling 150 the next – follows a failed attempt in 2015 to break the John O’Groats to Land’s End cycling record.

“That is like my skeleton in my closet,” he said, “my thing that haunts me. I had to give up, I was just being unbelievably sick.”

He believes that he was hampered by prevailing wind direction from the south-west.

But he has the support of his wife Kerry and four-month-old daughter, Nellie.

Support Mr Boatwright at www.samboatwright.com/epic-bike-challenge