Air ambulance call-out inspires Robbie’s triple triathlon challenge

Robbie James is getting ready to compete in the super sprint and olympic distance triathlons at Frit

Robbie James is getting ready to compete in the super sprint and olympic distance triathlons at Fritton Lake. He is fundraising for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A Bungay carpet fitter is preparing for a gruelling triple triathlon to raise money for the air ambulance - after seeing first hand what a difference it makes in an emergency.

Robbie James, 45, is planning to complete a super sprint, sprint and Olympic distance triathlons at Fritton Lake later this month.

He will be swimming 2.6km, cycling 73km and running 17.5km in the space of two days, all in aid of the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

He said: “My partner’s daughter Chloe was in a head on car accident in November last year on the Bungay to Norwich Road.

“She suffered a serious spinal injury and they called the air ambulance, which took her to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

“If it hadn’t been there her injuries could have been much more severe, but now she’s practically made a full recovery. She has been very lucky.”

The East Anglian Air Ambulance has a trained doctor on board, and Mr James credits the doctor’s immediate care and expertise from preventing her condition from being considerably worse.

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“It makes a huge difference,” he said. “Because it meant they could diagnose Chloe straight away. ”

And being a keen triathlete, he came up with the idea of the triple challenge to try and raise money so the air ambulance, which relies entirely on donations, could be there for more local people.

“I’ve done a lot of local triathlons and first got involved about 10 years ago when I was a member of the Bungay Black Dog Running Club,” he said.

“But I thought I would take on the triple to hopefully raise some money.

“I’ve been doing a lot of swimming round Fritton Lake, cycling to work and running some 10ks to try and train.

“I think the hardest bit will be the run on Sunday, having to finish that after having done everything else. But a lot of my friends and family have been really generous in making donations and sponsoring me so I know I’m going to get round.”

Mr James will be taking on the challenge on June 18 and 19 and hopes to raise £500 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

There is a sponsorship form at Wightman’s in Bungay, where Mr James has worked as a carpet fitter for 25 years, or you can sponsor him online by visiting

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