Recovering alcoholic finishes 70th triathlon this year to raise money for good causes

A former alcoholic and drug addict has completed an epic challenge of running 70 triathlons for charity - adding up to a staggering 4,921 miles.

School children joined Andy for the last leg of the 70th triathlon.
School children joined Andy for the last leg of the 70th triathlon.

Andy Stone trained for months in an attempt to set a world record by completing 70 triathlons in 70 days, which would culminate in the Stafford Ironman.

Unfortunately, he was struck down by a toe infection that meant he had to delay the last few races.

However, the scuba instructor was not deterred and his ambitious challenge came to a climax on Friday as he ran the last of the 70.3-mile triathlons.

Andy Stone, at the end of his 70th triathlon, with his partner Sally Fenton.

As he ran through his home town of Eccleshall, more than 300 people lined the streets to cheer on the athlete and crowds of schoolchildren joined him on the final leg of his journey.

The 40-year-old crossed the finish line outside Little George Pub on Castle Street, where he was swept into the embrace of his partner and the pair shared a passionate kiss.

Andy and Sally share an emotional kiss at the end of Andy's 70th triathlon.

Andy's partner, Sally Fenton, said: "It was surreal. We were absolutely bowled over by the number of people who turned up to support Andy and around 40 people joined Andy on the run too.

"At the end as the runners came into the High Street, the traffic had to stop as so many people joined the last 200m to help him over the line.

"The outpouring of love and support of his journey was so touching to see."

People line the pavement, as they wait for Andy.

Andy will now wait with bated breath to see if he has broken two new world records.

Although he did not complete the 70 triathlons in 70 days thanks to his infection, he hopes he is the new record holder for most consecutive number of 113km triathlons (male) and the most 113km triathlons done in a year (male).

Andy undertook the phenomenal challenge to raise money for the mental health charity Mind, Alcohol Change UK, and Humankind, who run a Staffordshire treatment and recovery service, and has so far raised over £12,000.

The 40-year-old said: "I am doing this for all the guys and girls who are struggling with addiction and mental health."

Prior to stopping using drugs and alcohol, Andy was drinking up to 12 pints a night, using cocaine and struggling with his mental health.

With the support of his parents, friends, and Alcoholics Anonymous, Andy gave up alcohol and drugs and switched to a healthy lifestyle including a plant-based diet and competing in Ironmans.

Paul Townsley, CEO of Humankind, said: "We are in awe of the incredible challenge that Andy has undertaken.

"Andy is a fantastic example that it is possible to recover from substance use, achieve new goals, and live a healthier and happier life. Everyone at Humankind will be cheering him on as he goes for the World Record."

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