DETERMINED to challenge himself after his mental health battle, an Oxfordshire man has decided to create his own charity challenge.

Richard Edge, 39, who lives with his wife and two children in Hook Norton, near Chipping Norton, had a run of bad luck over the past year.

Firstly he trained for two years for an Ironman triathlon in Portugal – made up of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a marathon.

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He then had to withdraw from that event after breaking his leg in training.

He then entered one in Italy which was cancelled a month before the event due to coronavirus pandemic.

Now he has decided not to give up and do the challenge in Oxfordshire instead.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Edge said: “I had time off back in 2017 and my GP said one of the best things you can do is just start training and have a focus outside of work and your family.

"It has been a way to prove to myself and to others that period of being depressed doesn’t define me, it doesn’t make me weak."

Friend Alex Tebbs will be taking part in the gruelling Ironman alongside Mr Edge.

He was there for Mr Edge when he was battling with his mental health and got him out of the house to help him overcome his depression and anxiety during a time when he was sleeping for hours during the day.

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Mr Edge said: “We will run our race on September 20 side by side, not racing each other, but supporting each other, just as Alex stood by me in 2017. For me that will be amazing and a poetic way to complete our journey.”

The pair are also fundraising for schools in Chipping Norton and Hook Norton.

They have named their Ironman challenge ‘Beyond 226’, a reference to the total number of kilometres in the triathlon, which they are hoping to complete in 12 hours.

The triathletes plan to swim in Oxfordshire lakes, cycle and run through Oxford to finally finish in Hook Norton where they are hoping to be welcomed by their friends and family.

Mr Edge also wants to use the Ironman to raise awareness of mental health.

He said: “That period of your life will not define you, if you are struggling just raise your hand and ask for help.”