Hasan Al-hasani, who is undertaking the Ironman UK challenge to raise funds for Re-engage is making sure he’s not rusty when it comes to the big day on July 2nd.

Hasan, 35, who has been a call companion for around 18 months, is preparing for the testing event by taking part in five warm-ups – two cross-fit competitions, the Hyrox fitness race, the 100-mile Ride London and finally a half-triathlon.

“This will be my first full triathlon and I must admit I’m getting pretty nervous about it,” he said. “But it’s going to be for a good cause, so that’s what I’m focusing on.”

Hasan is also undertaking the gruelling challenge in memory of Philip Wade, who was his call companion until his recent sad death.

“We instantly became good friends,” said Hasan, who lives in Battersea, south London and is Head of Risk and Insurance for a fashion company. “We used to talk about everything -  life, family, love, dogs, gardening and current affairs.

“I really enjoyed our chats because I was looking for more purpose and meaning in life and helping an older person was helping me achieve that.

“Philip also gave me the inspiration to do the triathlon and plan the five preliminary events. I complained to him once about a knee operation I had undergone and he convinced me to use it as an opportunity to do something positive. The only sadness is that he won’t be here to see me do it.”

The Ironman UK event will be held in Bolton and starts at Pennington Flash Country Park where competitors have to swim 3.8km (2.4 miles) around the lake, then cycle for 180km (112 miles) through the surrounding area and finally run a 42km (26.2 miles) marathon, finishing in the town centre. Hasan would love to come in under 12 hours, still smiling. Last year’s winner did it in 9hr.38mins.

“Everybody is being really supportive,” added Hasan, who now has a new call companion. “A number of my friends and family have already signed-up to volunteer for Re-engage, so Philip’s magic working already.”

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