City’s top dogs race for Sport Relief triathlon

AS if the City was not competitive enough, dozens of chief executives yesterday donned their trainers and swimming caps in aid of Sport Relief.

Organised by Phil Smith, chief executive of Cisco UK and Ireland, the Leaderboard Triathlon Challenge put over 30 business bosses through their paces in the grounds of Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.

And so far, the boardroom bunch has raised a staggering £225,000.

“It’s amazing what you can do when you come together,” Steve Cooper, vice chairman of Barclays Business Banking, told The Capitalist.

“It’s been good fun, with a good bunch of people,” said Cooper, 42, who finished the race in an hour and 34 minutes and – along with a few nationwide teams doing a 24 hour rowathon – has raised £25,000.

James Kelly, chief executive of Lorien Resourcing, was just one minute behind, finishing the race in an hour and 35 minutes.

“I hadn’t ridden a bike since 1980, so that was the toughest bit for me,” said Kelly. “I only got back on a bike three weeks ago – I almost had to get the stabilisers out.”

So did the competitive streak that took the athletes to the top of their businesses find its way onto the track?

“We pretend it didn’t,” said Kelly, who has so far raised £18,000 for the Leaderboard Triathlon Challenge.

He added: “The race was much more about the fundraising than the physical. We get weekly email updates with who has raised what, which always triggers a fresh bout of pestering our friends and family.”

The LeaderBoard group saw bosses from companies including Oracle, RIM and Orange – joined by former sports professionals Austin Healey and Roger Black – complete a 750m swim, followed by a 20k cycle, topped off by a 5k run in aid of Sport Relief.

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VETERAN City commentator David Buik revealed in his daily email yesterday that he found time last week to attend one of Coldplay’s concerts at the Emirates stadium in north London.

It wasn’t 68-year-old Buik’s first pop concert – that was Eric Clapton 12 years ago – but it was the first time he had seen Coldplay perform live. Buik said he had an amazing time and was thoroughly mesmerised by Coldplay. But he paid a cost for his enjoyment.

“One did not require a qualification to realise that Chris Martin’s troops gave an amazing performance which enthralled the 75,000 attendees, despite the atrocious weather conditions – unseasonably cold and latterly very wet,” the City commentator opined ahead of commentary about the Spanish bank bailout.

“But I paid the price for being inappropriately attired in a ‘T-shirt’ by spending the next week on antibiotics fighting the ‘mother & father’ of all chest infections – It was worth it!”