Sean Evans took up a challenge to raise awareness for the Carpe Diem School in George that cares for children with mental and physical disabilities by entering the 2008 Spec- Savers Ironman South Africa and giving the children a taste of Ironman action. His aim was to give eight children a chance to be a part of the event by completing each loop of the three disciplines with a different child. (Picture: Kevin Diedericks and Sean Evans, pushing a Carpe Diem School pupil, finished the event together in a time of 14:33:36. Photo courtesy - Marathon Photos)
The 3.8km sea swim saw Evans harnessed to a sit-on-top kayak with one of the children ready for the first loop. A second child was substituted after the first loop so that two children were able to experience the thrill of the open water. Evans completed the swim in a time of 1:15:54 and headed out of transition and on to the cycle with child number three.
The 180km, three loop cycle, was completed by towing the children in a racing wheelchair and they crossed into transition after a gruelling 7 hours out on the roads of Port Elizabeth. Then it was the long marathon that loomed up ahead but Evans was up for the challenge as were his excited passengers. The children loved the experience and they were all there, as well as a number of teachers, to welcome Evans across the finish line in a time of 14:33:36.
The ever humble Evans was quick to point out that this was not something he did alone; a number of dedicated teachers were involved and he gave them a resounding thank you. He said he was encouraged during the long day by other athletes who were inspired by this mans courageous challenge. Evans plans to return next year and build on this exceptional feat.