Junior doctors’ 24-hour duathlon relay for global medical charity


Four junior doctors from South Yorkshire ran and cycled for a combined 24 hours to fundraise for Doctors Without Borders on Saturday.

Starting at 11am on Saturday 9 May, Lydia Pegman, Mary Swallow, Sophie Pitt and Bexx Woods tag-teamed a 24-hour duathlon whilst staying within the government’s guidelines.

About the challenge, Pegman said: “The duathlon was actually incredible. It was so much fun, albeit maybe type two fun. We had a group chat and all day were messaging and cheering each other on.

“Knowing we had so much support, from each other and from every wonderful person who donated, really helped keep up going through the tough bits!”

Each of them completed six hours of activity over the 24 in their ‘doc-athlon’ challenge, cycling on their indoor bikes and using their once-a-time outdoor exercise for their running in aid of the charity who provide much needed medical care around the world.

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) are a non-governmental organisation who deliver humanitarian aid to those in need around the world.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Doctors Without Borders are providing medical care and support in over 70 countries as they assist health authorities and maintain essential medical services. You can find out more about the organisation and the work they do on their website here.

Whilst at university in Leeds, Pegman was the president of the Leeds Friends of Doctors Without Borders society and, knowing the need around the world for medical support, the quartet chose to fundraise for the charity in their challenge.

"Having been involved with MSF before I was super keen to continue supporting such a wonderful organisation,” Pegman said. “Throughout the world, they provide medical care to those most in need, but also build communities, provide safe sanitation and teach locals so the community continues to benefit once MSF leave.

“The work they do globally is incredible and so inspiring and they just felt like the right charity to support in today's climate."

Pegman and Pitt are the only ones of the four to have raced in any form of multisport event before, with Pegman having raced at the 2019 AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds.

After studying in the city for five years, she saw the event as a great way to round off her time in the city by swim, bike and running from Roundhay Park, through the city and into Millennium Square as she completed the standard distance race.

Despite her experience however, none of the four had taken on a challenge quite like this before.

“We all loved it and were actually a little sad when it finished,” said Pegman. “We've been completely blown away by everyone's support and generosity and are just so grateful for everyone getting behind the cause."

You can support the four junior doctors in their fundraising for Doctors Without Borders by donating on their Just Giving page below.


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