Helen Russell

World Champion Quadrathlete and Duathlete


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Helen Russell - News 2015

Helen was lucky to be able to escape the cold and wet British weather for a block of warm weather training in the Costa Blanca. Helen teamed up with Ciclo Costa Blanca and the Terralta Apartotel in Benidorm to ensure that she got the most out of her stay. Helen mostly focussed on her cycling- riding many climbs of the Vuelta a Espana. She was also able to take advantage of the warm sea temperatures to do some open water swim practice as well as some sessions in the Terralta’s indoor pool. Helen has now returned to the UK where she will focus on getting fit for the start of the triathlon race season. You can read a blog about her stay here.
Festive switch on
Helen was honoured to be invited to switch on the Bromsgrove Christmas lights this year. Hundreds of people gathered in the town centre for an evening of festive entertainment headlined by singers Candy Dolls. Helen was interviewed by Andrew Easton from BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester about her One Day Ahead challenge before turning on the lights with Councillor Caroline Spencer.
£20,000 for Cure Leukaemia
Helen is delighted to have reached the £20,000 mark in her fundraising for Cure Leukaemia. Helen was part of the One Day Ahead Team, which has raised over £700,000 to help fund clinical trials and research nurses at the Centre for Clinical Haematology at the QE Hospital in Birmingham. Helen would like to thank all those that helped her by donating, helping with fundraising events and encouraging her in person or via social media. After seeing the impact of the work of Cure Leukaemia Helen will continue to help raise funds for the charity in 2016.

Photo: David West
Winter training
Helen is teaming up with the Terralta Apartotel Benidorm this year for her winter training. Situated at the foothills of the Marina Mountains, the Terralta is the ideal location for cyclists and triathletes. The apartments are cycle friendly and a great place to meet other cyclists to ride and socialise with. Due to some of the best cycling routes and mountain climbs in Europe the Costa Blanca is a favourite destination of the pro cyclists and triathletes. The Terralta offers an indoor pool and gym equipped with cardio and weights equipment. Benidorm running track is behind the hotel and the municipal 25m pool is within walking distance. Located just 1km from the beach, the year round temperatures means that sea swimming is possible. Helen is still supported by Ciclo Costa Blanca, who will provide her with a bike during her stay in Benidorm.

Website: http://www.apartamentos-terralta.com/en
Erdinger / Tri247 Athlete of the Month
Helen is delighted to have been named the Erdinger Alkoholfrei/Tri247 Athlete of the Month for the month of July in recognition of completing the One Day Ahead Challenge, which saw Helen ride the entire route of this year’s Tour de France for Cure Leukaemia. Helen joins a group of successful triathletes who have won the accolade in 2015.
Geese up Ventoux Ride
On 13th September Helen joined forces with the Geese and Fountain Pub in Croxton Kerrial, Leicestershire to organise the Geese up Ventoux charity ride for Cure Leukeamia. The sixty mile ride passed through the villages of Skillington, Ashwell and Owston on route to Café Ventoux in Tugby before heading back to the Geese and Fountain via Pickwell and Stapleford. Helen joined the ride and whilst the cyclists tucked into a recovery meal back at the Geese and Fountain she shared her experiences of the One Day Ahead Challenge in a post ride Q&A followed by a raffle. The event raised over £500 and has helped the One Day Ahead total go over the £700,000 mark. Helen would like to thank the Geese and Fountain pub for hosting the event and for the companies that donated raffle prizes.
One Day Ahead Celebration
Guests from the world of cycling and football gathered at the Bromsgrove Sporting Football Club to mark the success of the One Day Ahead team at a ‘Welcome Home‘ party organised by Helen.

The event was hosted by ITV4 Tour de France commentator, Ned Boulting who compered a Q&A session with former England footballer and One Day Ahead team captain Geoff Thomas, who shared his experiences of riding the Tour de France route, his time as a professional footballer as well as beating his battle with blood cancer. Ned also ran the auction which saw guests bid for items donated by sports stars, including West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster, triathletes Non Stanford and Jodie Stimpson and cycling stars, including fellow Bromsgrove resident Jess Varnish.

The sell-out event attracted over 120 people and raised over £3,000 on the evening with more money still coming in. Helen thanks everyone who came along, got involved in the auction and donated raffle prizes and is especially grateful to Ned who kept everyone amused. The One Day Ahead team have so far raised over £700,000 and there is still time to donate via www.justgiving.com/HelenRussell-LeTour
One Day Ahead Success
Helen is celebrating after completing the Le Tour-One Day Ahead Challenge after her triumphal arrival in Paris. Le Tour saw an eleven strong team, led by ex-England footballer Geoff Thomas, cycle the route of the Tour de France one day ahead of the professional race to raise funds for the Birmingham charity Cure Leukaemia. The brutal 2,100 mile ride came to an end for Helen when she crossed the finish line under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower on Saturday afternoon, via the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees. The team set off from Utrecht, Holland, on July 3 and since then each cyclist has burned around 95,000 calories and climbed 40,000 metres in pedalling almost 2,100 miles.

The team had to contend with 40-plus degree heat, wall-like ascents and frightening mountain-top thunderstorms, riding an average of 110 miles a day. Helen was pushed to her limits suffering from dehydration, saddle sores, sickness and blisters. An eventful first week saw her brought down off her bike in Holland and after having ten stiches on the roadside she bravely insisted that she be let back on her bike to complete the day‘s stage.

The team‘s superhuman efforts have pushed the fundraising total for Cure Leukaemia past the £650,000 mark which will help fund clinical trials and research nurses at the QE Hospital, Birmingham.

Donations can still be made via Helen‘s Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/HelenRussell-LeTour

Photo: Sam Bagnall
Le Tour-One Day Ahead
Helen is putting her triathlon ambitions on hold this summer to take part in a challenge that is more important for her than winning medals. Ex England footballer and cancer survivor Geoff Thomas has asked Helen to be one of only two women participating in Le Tour-One Day Ahead. The challenge will see a small team of riders cycle the whole route of this year’s Tour de France one day before the pros with the aim of raising over £1m for Cure Leukaemia. Between 3rd-25th July Helen will cycle over 3,300km, including 7 mountain stages, cobbled roads and the switchbacks of the Alp D‘Huez. At an average of around 100miles a day this will be, without a doubt, the hardest thing Helen has ever done.

All monies raised will go towards the life-saving work carried out at the Centre for Clinical Haematology (CCH) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham (QEHB), where Professor Craddock treated Geoff.
    The money will pay for:
  • More specialist research nurses
  • Ability to deliver more state of the art therapies clinical trials and blood cancer treatments
  • The potential to deliver stem cell transplants as an outpatient procedure
  • A dramatically improved patient experience
  • The chance of developing cures for a range of blood cancers within the next 30 years
  • Consolidate the Queen Elizabeth Hospital‘s position as a world-leading centre for the development of new drugs for the treatment of blood cancer
Any donations will really make a difference and are gratefully received! You can donate via Helen‘s Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/HelenRussell-LeTour/

More information about Le Tour-One Day Ahead can be found here. http://www.beforethetour.com
Throughout February Helen is training in partnership with Ciclo Costa Blanca in Spain. Based in Benidorm she is staying at Ciclo Costa Blanca‘s partnership hotel the Terralta Aparthotel and has been provided with a carbon Bergamont bike for the duration of her stay.

Whilst Helen‘s main focus for her stay will be cycling in the beautiful mountains of the Marina she will of course continue with her triathlon training, which will be easy as Benidorm has a 25m public swimming pool and running track and there is also a gym and indoor pool at the Terralta Aparthotel.

To find out more about the packages offered by Ciclo Costa Blanca check out the websites: http://www.ciclocostablanca.com
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