If you enjoyed a long and successful career as a professional footballer, how would you choose to spend your retirement? Would you opt for coaching, try your hand at punditry, or just sit in your massive house all day doing nothing? Or, would you take a leaf out of former Southampton man Francis Benali’s book and take up extreme endurance events?
In 2014 Benali ran 1,600km to all 20 Premier League football grounds in the space of just three weeks. Then in 2015 he ran and cycled to all 44 Premier League and Championship grounds in just two weeks, cycling 120km and running a marathon every day.
Benali raised almost £500,000 for Cancer Research UK (CRUK) in the process, but he’s aiming even higher with his latest challenge, when he’ll be attempting to complete seven Ironman triathlons (a 3.8km swim, a 180km cycle, and a full 42.2km marathon) in seven days and raise £1 million for CRUK.
Fitbit is sponsoring the event, which begins on 29th April, and offering some choice prizes to publicise the event – as well as promising to pony up £10,000 if Fitbit owners get involved by being active themselves over the seven-day period. The good news is you don’t have to tackle an Ironman. You just have to do your bit in contributing active minutes to the total logged by the Fitbit community, with the overall aim being seven million active minutes over the seven days.
You can register for the challenge on the Fitbit For Iron Fran website and enter the competition by answering a simple question about Benali’s Ironman heroics and then logging in to your Fitbit account. If you don’t have a Fitbit you can still enter the competition.
Every day of the challenge Fitbit will be awarding one prize bundle of its wearables and other devices to someone who has registered. The bundle is worth £1,000 and includes the company’s top-of-the-line smartwatch – the Fitbit Ionic – along with the Versa and Versa Lite watches, and Charge 3 fitness band.
You can also find discounts on Fitbit trackers on the Fitbit For Iron Fran website, with the Ionic reduced by £80 to just £199.99 and the Charge 3 special edition’s price cut by £20 to £129.99. For each of the first 200 devices sold Fitbit will donate £25 to CRUK.