May 24, 2021 1.59 pm This story is over 14 months old

Lincolnshire man to complete triathlon and skydive in memory of dad

Paul’s dad Mansell died at just 43

A father-of-three from a Lincolnshire village is taking on four charity challenges in one day in memory of his dad who died aged just 43.

Paul Bennett, 42 from Nocton, will be running, swimming, cycling and jumping out of a plane in the space of 24 hours on Saturday, May 29 to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

It is a charity with sentimental connections to Paul, he will be taking part in the challenge to honour his father Mansell, who died of a cardiac arrest in May 1990, when Paul was just 11-years-old.

Paul was just 11 when he lost his father. | Photo: British Heart Foundation

“I thought dad was sleeping at first as he would often have a nap in his chair,” said Paul, who works as a unit director for sustainability specialists Delta Simons.

“We couldn’t wake him, and although my mum called an ambulance, sadly nothing could be done to save him.

“It was very sudden and unexpected. Dad was a reasonably active guy and he had no signs of any underlying conditions.

“It left our family in shock and although I’ve blocked quite a lot of it out, I remember it being a really difficult time.”

Paul with his sons Noah and Alfie, he also has a daughter called Megan. | Photo: British Heart Foundation

He will run ten miles from his home to Activities Away in Lincoln, before swimming one mile around the lake at the centre, and then cycling 25 miles to Hibaldstow.

As well as this gruelling triathlon, Paul will be finishing his challenge by jumping out of a plane from 10,000 feet.

He tried to organise a skydive last year to mark the 30th anniversary of his father’s death, but it had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With his dad being 43 when he died, Paul said the fact he turns 43 this year means it will be “fitting” to complete the challenge now.

Paul is married and has three children with wife Alex. | Photo: British Heart Foundation

Paul said: “It’s a crazy idea but I’m really excited and also quite nervous.

“I’ve always wanted to do a skydive but thought I would push myself that little bit further for a great cause.

“For me, it’s been something to look forward to and focus on after what has been a different year due to COVID-19.”

Every three hours, somebody in Lincolnshire dies of heart or circulatory disease, and around 150,000 people in the county are living with conditions such as vascular dementia, diabetes and high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Paul has already raised an incredible £2,540 at the time of publication, and you can donate to his JustGiving page here.