Champion fundraiser celebrates completing her epic transatlantic triathlon
09:27 09 January 2014
As she plunged into the Pacific Ocean dressed as Wonder Woman, Katy Owen celebrated finishing her epic transatlantic triathlon which has raised an incredible amount for two cancer charities.
Inspired by the amazing courage of her mum, Jacqueline Owen, who has a currently incurable blood cancer, as well as the bravery of her aunt, Janet Jarvis, and her friend’s mum, Sue Stanley, who both died from cancer, Katy was determined that 2013 would be a year she would make a difference in the fight against the condition.
The 30-year-old kicked off her gruelling fund-raising triathlon by completing the London Marathon in April, then in the summer she cycled solo across Canada from west to east, and finally she jumped into the icy cold Pacific Ocean on New Year’s Day for the Polar Bear Plunge off the coast of Vancouver.
She said it felt fantastic to have now completed her challenge and to have raised more than £12,000, which will be shared between Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK.
“Every step of the way I was driven by wanting to make Sue, Janet and my mum proud, and I really feel like they have been with me every step of the way,” said Katy, who lives in Newmarket Street, in the Golden Triangle area of Norwich.
“There were times when I was struggling to cycle up mountains and all I wanted to do was rest at the side of the road, but I never ever wanted to give up because Sue and Janet never gave up and my mum is trying so hard to keep going. I just thought, I am so lucky to have my health and this fantastic opportunity to raise money, that the thought of quitting never even crossed my mind.”
She described the final part of her challenge – which she completed with her friend Greg Conn who lives in Vancouver – as “a celebration of life”.
“During the Polar Bear Swim, rather than worrying about the cold, I felt like this was a celebration of life and everything you can achieve when you put your mind to it,” she said.
“I hope that Sue and Janet would be proud of what I have achieved in their memory, and I hope my mum is amazed by what I have accomplished in just a year.”
Katy also paid tribute to everyone who has supported her throughout her transatlantic challenge. Looking back on her whole challenge, she said: “This experience has changed my outlook on life and even if I inspire just one person to go out there and challenge themselves in order to raise a little bit of money for charity, this will all have been worth it.
“It was a hard year, 2012, full of sadness and loss. In 2013 I used that negativity as a driving force to create something positive, and I hope 2014 will be even better.”