Iron Man Dean speaks To

Visualsoft Director Dean Benson this week spoke exclusively to about his upcoming challenge.

The following article appeared in its March 10th edition:

Retail development company Visualsoft promises clients it will strain every muscle to squeeze the last drop of sales out of their websites. But boss Dean Benson is taking the effort literally. Joanne Welford meets the gadget geek on a mission.

AT 5am on most mornings, where are you? In bed if you’ve any sense. But not Dean Benson. Instead, the joint director of Teesside-based dotcom developer Visualsoft is starting his two-hour run up and over Roseberry Topping, near Guisborough.

Dean, who lives in Seamer, is in training for an Iron Man event that will demand serious stamina.

A two-and-a-half-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a marathon run all lie ahead of him in Switzerland in July. And up until last year, he was a couch potato who couldn’t even manage doggy paddle.

Sheer determination and effort are going to get him through, he says, but he’s helped along by one or two clever gadgets he couldn’t do without.

One is a cycle trainer he uses at home which lifts the wheel of his bike, allowing him to pedal without going anywhere. The other is a heart rate monitor to track his work rate. Both are invaluable, says Dean, who will be completing Iron Man with friends and colleagues Mark Leader, George Parker Fuller and Nik Tunley.

Together, they are raising thousands for four different charities – Zoe’s Place, the Children’s Diabetes Trust Fund at Middlesbrough’s James Cook Hospital, children’s charity Coco and Unicef.

The team have been helped to Switzerland by Stokesley’s Westbrook Cycles and by Hartlepool’s Fitness Megastore and photographer Tim Wallace. Dean’s client BigDug has also weighed in with a £1,000 donation – and an extra £1,000 if he completes the event in under 14 hours. When it’s all over, the team is planning a fundraising party.

“It’s a personal challenge with a twist,” smiles Dean.

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