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Friday, 22 October 2021
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RAF Corporal takes on Barcelona Ironman 70.3 to raise money for armed forces charity

In October, a local RAF Corporal is taking on the Barcelona ‘Ironman 70.3’ Triathlon to raise money for charities, including SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

Gloucestershire resident Matt Grafton, 31, and team-mates will head out to Spain to take part in this gruelling event to back their Forces ‘family’ on Sunday 3rd October.

Matt will be joined by team-mates James Latchford, Tom Barratt and Ben Spalding.

They will be competing in a 90 km bike trip, a 21 km run and a 2km in the coastal town of Calella, northeast of Barcelona in Catalonia.

Matt, who joined the RAF five years ago, said:

“I and some RAF colleagues came up with the idea while serving in Cyprus. We thought it would be a brilliant challenge and a great way to raise money for SSAFA, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Alzheimer’s Society – all charities that we care deeply about.

“As Servicemen, we’re well aware of the amazing support SSAFA gives the Forces, and we’re proud to help out.”

RAF Corporal takes on Barcelona Ironman 70.3 to raise money for armed forces charity
Matt Grafton Ironman swim training in deep water

Having been off sports for a year due to injury, Matt has been out training throughout the pandemic, with open water swimming in lakes and rivers while the pools were closed and cycling and running whenever off duty.

Although training is mostly solo, the team have got together for long-distance cycling trips around Bristol and even a training session involving a 3km swim, a 70km cycle and a 15km run.

Matt added:

“After people have endured such a hard time during the pandemic, we want to give something back to our servicemen and women, and veterans, who need our support.

“We’ve already raised over £660, half our £1,000 target, but we’re hoping to double that before the Barcelona ‘Ironman’ in October.”

If you would like to support Matt and his fellow triathletes raising money for SSAFA, please visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/IRON.

To find out more about SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, please visit: ssafa.org.uk.

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