ARMY officer Hugh McAfee is putting his military fitness to the test by taking part in the gruelling Ironman triathlon in his home town.

Mr McAfee, who is originally from Halliwell, joined the Army in 1989 and is currently a human resources officer in 16 Air Assault Brigade in Colchester.

He has had a varied and wide ranging career and has travelled the world during his time in the Army.

He is competing with his son, Lee, a vehicle mechanic in the army, and his brother Michael, who has come from Australia for the event.

Mr McAfee has now completed a gruelling training programme for this extreme sports endurance event, which takes place in Bolton on July 20.

The trio will face a 2.4-mile open lake swim and 112-mile bike ride, followed by a marathon. All this has to be completed on the same day, and within 17 hours to qualify as a finisher.

By taking part, Mr McAfee hopes to raise £1,000 to support Scope, a charity which provides support, advice and information to more than a quarter of a million disabled people and their family members in the United Kingdom every year.

Mr McAfee said: “This is my first triathlon and when I started training my aim was to just finish the event within the qualifying time but six months on after my training programme, I hope I can complete it in less than 12 hours.

“I thought it would be great idea to align the event with me raising some money for a charity and when Scope agreed that I could take part on their behalf I jumped at the chance.”

Debbie Bines, head of events for Scope, said: “The money raised by Hugh will go towards supporting people affected by disability to overcome their own challenges in life.”

You can sponsor Mr McAfee by visiting