Gordon’s triathlon for the Sally Allan Fund

Gordon Allan, far right in picture, with his daughter Claire, second left, and Abby Dorani and Paul Holborow from Ponteland Tri Club.
Gordon Allan, far right in picture, with his daughter Claire, second left, and Abby Dorani and Paul Holborow from Ponteland Tri Club.

Gordon Allan, whose wife Sally took her own life on Boxing Day 2015, is going to do a triathlon in Ponteland on Sunday to raise money for the Sally Allan Fund.

The fund was set-up by her family in order to raise mental health awareness and improve North East mental health – to date more than £30,000 has been raised.

It enables Tyneside and Northumberland Mind to deliver a free one-hour mental health awareness presentation to businesses, public sector bodies, charities and local community groups.

Gordon said: “When Sally took her own life, due to mental health issues, we had been married for 37 years.

“July 22 is our 40th wedding anniversary and in order to celebrate those wonderful years we shared together, I have decided to do my first, and probably last, triathlon in Ponteland.

“With support from Ponteland Tri Club, the route will see me cycle past St Mary’s Church where Sally and I got married.

“I was very touched when the members of Ponteland Tri Club came forward and asked if the Sally Allan Fund could be the charity for their very first Sprint Triathlon, which takes place on July 1.

“It means a lot to know that nearly 40 years on from our wedding day, Sally will be part of a healthy and fun event in Ponteland.

“Sally loved swimming, cycling and walking, sorry tri athletes running wasn’t her thing, so by doing those three separate events and helping others I hope to make her proud.

“The distances I will cover are swimming 400 metres, cycling 20 kilometres and walking five kilometres. I don’t promise a record time, but with Sally in my thoughts I am determined to get to that finish line.”

Since January 2016, the presentation has helped more than 3,000 people in over 100 different organisations.

Gordon is doing the event a month earlier than the official Ponteland Sprint Triathlon. It will be hosted by Ponteland Tri Club – the triathlon arm of running club Ponteland Runners.

This enables club members to support Gordon with his efforts and in return allows him to help out on the day of the official event.

Abby Dorani from Ponteland Tri Club said: “We asked our members to nominate the charity that they would most like us to support and the Sally Allan Fund, by a large margin, received the most votes.

“Sally’s story is so close to home and it has touched a lot of our hearts.

“I recently had the opportunity to attend one of the Sally Allan Fund mental health awareness presentations through work and it was incredibly eye-opening.

“I am therefore delighted that by hosting our triathlon in support of the fund, we can help to fund more of these presentations and improve mental health awareness across the region.”

To make a donation to the fund, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gordon-allan-tri
Ponteland Tri Club welcomes all abilities to take part in the Ponteland Sprint Triathlon. If you want to participate, go to www.sprinttriponteland.org for more information.