Richard Branson launched his 2012 Virgin Active London Triathlon Celeb Team at the Chiswick Riverside Health and Racquets Club on Wednesday. There's a buzz around this September’s event and we’ve got the scoop on how the celebs are feeling about the challenge.
TV presenter Jeff Brazier is well on his way to a top place finish in the Celeb Tri this year. After finishing the super sprint distance last year he’s upgraded to the Sprint Distance (750km swim, 20km cycle, 5km run) and is taking his training very seriously: "Knowing what to expect has made me more confident for this year’s Triathlon". Jeff cycled from London to Brighton last month and is keeping his fitness up with circuit training four days a week, but what keeps him motivated? "Knowing there's always someone fitter than you gives you something to look to achieve". Jeff’s pal Michelle Heaton, who was gutted to miss last year’s London Tri because she was pregnant, can’t wait to get involved this year.
TV broadcasting couple Angellica Bell and Michael Underwood, who welcomed their first baby earlier this year, are using the race as motivation to lose the baby weight together. Yes, men get it too. Angellica has always been into her fitness, while Michael admits it’s not something he’s been "fully committed to in the past", but the VALT is giving them something they can train for together around their family and work schedules. Michael says: "Virgin Active makes it so much easier to get the workouts in - with their crèche and family facilities, we don’t really have an excuse now."
Made in Chelsea star Ollie Locke and ex-Gladiator Amy Guy aren’t intimidated by the triple discipline event. While Amy has her athletic background to rely on Ollie admits he hasn’t started training yet. He’s not too worried though and is up for the VALT challenge with the hope of getting fit enough to do the Virgin London Marathon next April. Chelsee Healey is in a similar frame of mind when it comes to training for the VALT. She's sticking to her regular twice a week gym routine: "I’ll be going more often closer to the event I think. Three or four times a week to get ready".
A beginner in competing herself but not to the world of sport, Hayley McQueen told us she thought it was about time she got active. She’ll be pushing herself through the event while raising money for a charity close to her heart, Cancer Research UK.
Other members of Richard’s team to look out for around City Docks this September are dancer Louie Spence, journalist Kay Burley, TOWIE’s Lydia Bright and Ricky Raymont, model Nell McAndrew, actor Oliver Phelps, Heart DJ Toby Anstis, Capital FM’s James Barr, former S Clubber now West End star Jon Lee, singer Gareth Gates, professional skater Matt Evers, model Nicola McLean and her footballer husband Tom Williams.