North-east couple prepare for “pain” for charity

Ellon triathletes Tracey and Arash Sahraie
Ellon triathletes Tracey and Arash Sahraie

A North-east couple are preparing to take part in a gruelling triathlon regarded as the toughest of its kind.

Ellon optician Tracey Sahraie and her husband Arash, a professor of psychology at Aberdeen University, will be among the competitors in Saturday’s Ironman distance City to Summit event.

The triathlon will take them from South Queensferry in the east at 6am to the summit of Ben Nevis, possibly as late as 2am on Sunday. They are undertaking the event in support of the ARCHIE Foundation.

Their youngest daughter Arianna, 11, spent five weeks in Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital last year.

She received treatment for a painful foot which required intensive physiotherapy.

Tracey said: “The ARCHIE Foundation supported us, I had a room there for the entire time which was provided by them.

“Arianna had a painful foot and we didn’t know what it was. It wasn’t broken, it wasn’t strained but it turned out to be some chronic rare syndrome.

“It meant she had to have a lot of physiotherapy and pain relief. She is fine now.”

She added that they wanted to do a fundraising event to show their appreciation for the help they received rom the charity.

Tracey said: “I did the Loch Ness Marathon last year in aid of ARCHIE and decided to take it one step further because this is the biggest sporting challenge we have done. We thought we would make a good go of it.”

The couple will start off at South Queensferry and do a two-and-a-half mile swim in the chilly Firth of Forth, followed by a 112-mile cycle through Dunfermline, Gleneagles and Crialarich and then over picturesque countryside to Glencoe.

They will stop at Glencoe village and run the mountain marathon across the West Highland Way to the summit of Ben Nevis and then down again.

Tracey said: “That’s the plan anyway - unless we’re snowed off!

“We’ve got from six in the morning until two in the morning, so we have about 18 hours, that’s the cut off.

“I’s sure that we can do it, weather permitting.

“I started doing triathlons in 2008 and I have done Ironman Switzerland and I have competed as an age group athlete in the duathlon world championships.

“We have been putting in a fair amount of training but the weather has put paid to it a bit, although we have been training hard.

“We sometimes train together like cycling at the weekends, but the swimming and running we do separately.”

The couple hope to raise more than £1000 from their efforts and and if you want to find out more details about the fundraiser you can visit http://www.justgiving.com/Arash-Tracey