Ironman charity bid saved by county chiropractor

A former policeman who plans to swim, bike and run more than 140 gruelling miles in less than 20 hours to raise money for people living with cancer has kickstarted his training plan thanks to the help of a Shropshire chiropractor.

Matthew McCann will take part in the Ironman Wales triathlon event on September 18 in Tenby to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The 35-year-old from Childs Ercall, near Newport, has just nine months to prepare for the event and his rigorous training regime will see him running regularly up and down the Wrekin and swimming in open water lakes across the county.

The former Police Scotland officer said: “The event will be tough. As far the Ironman goes, the Wales event is dubbed one of the most challenging especially when it comes to the bike and run elements.

“I’m glad to have started my training programme especially as just two months ago I was in real doubt as to whether or not I would be fit enough to take part.

“I just woke up one day and my back had completely given in on me. I was in a lot of pain and could hardly stand.

“For several days all I could do was lie on the floor. I couldn’t walk, let alone contemplate taking part in a triathlon. The doctor put me on some pretty hard core painkillers and advised it could be weeks possibly months for my back to recover.

“At that point I thought perhaps I would have to put off doing the Ironman this year as it takes a good deal of time to prepare for an event like this.

“Then, I got in touch with Shifnal Chiropractic Clinic.

“Laura Cunningham, who owns the clinic, was just fantastic and with her specialist interest and knowledge in dealing with sports related injuries she helped get me back on my feet in no time at all.

“I saw Laura three or four times and through a combination of massage and manipulations she was able to relieve the pain in my back and get me walking properly again.

“It’s meant I have been able to kickstart my training programme on time and hopefully with no more hiccups I will be ready for the event later this year.”

Miss Cunningham, who has owned the chiropractic clinic in Dyas Close for the last three years and is also a keen sportswoman, said: “January is the time of year when many people start training for summer endurance events and so unfortunately we also quite often see an increase in the number of patients with sports related injuries.

“Many people tend to reduce the level of exercise they are doing over the winter months with the weather turning, darker nights and of course all the festivities related to Christmas.

“Then when the new year rolls around they are raring to go and launch straight back into training. Sometimes the body needs a bit of time to readjust otherwise there is a high risk of injury.”

Mr McCann, who has two young children and now works for Shrewsbury-based company Technology Supplies, is no stranger to endurance events having completed in the Whitchurch UK Ultimate Half Triathlon on two occasions, the Highland Cross charity duathlon in 2013, the Inverness half marathon and, last year took part in the Severn Hospice 100km Great Big Bike Ride - helping to raise more than £2,500 for the charity.

He aims to raise in excess of £2,000 for Macmillan later this year with his first Ironman attempt.

“Macmillan is a charity close to my heart having lost my mother-in-law to breast cancer in 2014 and having recently supported my own mum through her battle with the disease.

“Everyone knows someone somewhere fighting cancer and for many the advice and support they receive from Macmillan is invaluable. The charity does an incredible job and I will be proud to put on my Macmillan vest in September and hope to raise as much as I can for the charity.”

Anybody wishing to know more about Shifnal Chiropractic clinic and the services it offers should visit www.lkchiropractic.co.uk or call 01952 460947. Anybody wishing to support Matthew in his Ironman attempt to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support can make a donation via the Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/MattMCann.