Potters Bar triathletes face ironman test to help ill boy

PUBLISHED: 09:00 30 August 2015

Kim Hutt, Hugo Whatton 3, Robert Whatton, Felix Whatton 17m, Victoria Whatton

Kim Hutt, Hugo Whatton 3, Robert Whatton, Felix Whatton 17m, Victoria Whatton

Archant

Two triathletes are planning to push themselves to the absolute limit by competing in an ironman event - all to help a Potters Bar boy with a rare genetic tissue disorder.

Kim and Alasdair Hutt, along with Hugo Whatton, at the finish of the half-ironman triathlon last AugustKim and Alasdair Hutt, along with Hugo Whatton, at the finish of the half-ironman triathlon last August

Kim and Alasdair Hutt of Laurel Avenue, Potters Bar, will tackle a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and to finish off, they will run a marathon.

The event takes place today in Vichy, central France.

Speaking before they travelled, Kim, 43, said: “I’m really nervous. They are forecasting 32 degrees and it will be hard to acclimatise to that temperature.”

The pair, who have always been keen runners, have competed in marathons and half-ironman triathlons before but decided they needed to go further.

They competed in a half-ironman last year, which was also to help raise funds and awareness for Ehlers-Danlos Support UK.

They chose the charity because of a neighbour’s son, Hugo Whatton, who has the condition.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) weakens the skin tissue, causing abnormal bleeding and bruising.

Hugo has the rarest form of the syndrome – vascular – which affects just one in 250,000.

His mother, Victoria, explained that a simple fall could cause seriously bleeding and lead to aneurisms. And with Hugo now a typical three-year-old, those falls are getting more frequent.

Victoria said: “The number of falls he is having is getting worse. The bigger he gets, the bigger the falls.

“He has just started at nursery but we’re lucky that they are so good.

“He has one-to-one help and they are fully aware of his condition. He has to have someone holding his hand in case he should trip.

“He did fall onto his knee recently and lacerated it quite bad. I think that was a shock to them to see how vulnerable he is.”

For Victoria raising awareness and funds is vital.

She said: “When we go to hospital, no-one understands. No-one grasps what is going on.

“There’s not enough research. There’s no cure but we could change his lifestyle.”

And that is why she is so appreciative of Kim and Alasdair’s efforts.

“They are truly, inspirational people,” she said. “I’m totally in awe of them. I couldn’t do it.”

Kim and Alasdair raised almost £2,500 last year and Kim hopes to get close to that again.

She said: “It would be great if we could but it would also be lovely to get to £2,000.”

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/kim-hutt2

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