SHEFFIELD chiropractor Ulrik Sandstrom may have a few aches and pains of his own after this weekend when he faces the challenge of a 2.4-mile swim followed by a 112-mile cycle ride and running a 26.2-mile marathon.
He admits his sanity has been questioned by friends and patients but he is determined to complete Nottingham’s Outlaw Triathlon on Sunday to raise money for Arthritis Research and Diabetes UK.
At Sheffield Chiropractic Clinic in Chesterfield Road, Woodseats, he see patients on a daily basis suffering from this arthritis, but the main motivation comes from his 13-year-old daughter, Maja, who was diagnosed last year with Type 1 diabetes.
“She has been a complete star in coping with her diabetes and does her injections herself four times a day.”
Ulrik says he finds it difficult to get out of bed at 5.30am to occasionally ride his bike the 35 miles from his home in Nottingham to the Sheffield clinic where he has worked for 20 years.
“But I just need to think of Maja and how she has no choice. If she can stick a needle in herself four times a day, I can get up and get on my bike!”
He has always enjoyed cycling and done a lot of running but the Ironman triathlon is on another level. “The swim is my big scare. I have been training in a quarry in Nottingham.”
There is also the mental aspect of keeping going for the 12 to 13 hours in which he is hoping to complete the event at Holme Pierrepont. “I have no idea how your head copes with getting off the bike after six hours and then being faced with ‘just having a marathon left to do’,” he said.
Ulrik, aged 45, added: “When you train this hard, it gets to the point when you say, ‘Just bring it on’.”
His clients at Woodseats have included players from Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and the Sheffield Sharks.
He has also worked with Chelsea Football Club and GB Basketball and has been first team chiropractor to Leicester Tigers rugby team for the past two seasons.
He is involved with the chiropractic provision to the 2012 Olympic Games in London and he has taken inspiration for the arduous Ironman training from many of his athletic patients
“It always fascinates me how far we can push the human body and many of my patients have provided advice and encouragement along the way.
“They have also been incredibly generous in their financial support to my chosen charities which really helps me keeping focused on my training.”
Ulrik has a target of raising £5,000 to split between the two charities and has set up a donation page at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/TeamChiro.
“Any amount is appreciated and my pain will hopefully stop after a few days – arthritis and diabetes sufferers have to live with their conditions for life until medical science finds a solution.”