Fabulous fundraiser Octavia Butler has completed her very first Half Ironman challenge in support of Horatio’s Garden this weekend, smashing her fundraising target of £3,500 to raise an immense total of over £4,300! 

To donate to Octavia’s JustGiving page, please click here 

Octavia announced she’d be taking on the gruelling event just eight weeks ago and since then support has flooded in from her family, friends and countless others who were impressed by her sporting prowess. 

Organised by the World Triathlon Corporation, the Half Ironman challenge involves a 1.9km swim, followed by a 96km cycle, followed by a 21.1km run; a mammoth undertaking and certainly not one to be embarked upon lightly! 

Fortunately, Octavia loves exercise and whilst the weekend’s sporting pursuits left her feeling exhausted, she loved every minute. The weather was perfect, neither too hot nor too rainy and cold, meaning she could crack on with the challenge just as she’d intended. Despite the agony in her knees making the final 7km loop of her run incredibly tough, she remained positive and resilient, motivated by the thought of all the people affected by spinal injury that she’d be helping by completing her challenge. 

Her own encounters with the immense physical and psychological benefits of nature and exercise inspired her to complete the Half Ironman Challenge, something which she has written more about on her JustGiving page: 

“Lockdown has emphasised just how important the outdoors are and what magical powers the fresh air, sun and even the cold wind can have on us, both physically and mentally (at least for me it has)!” 

“This has really highlighted just how incredibly important Horatio’s Garden is and what an amazing role the gardens play in the lives of those in hospital. Getting outside has been a lifeline for me and that’s exactly what the charity offers those with spinal injuries facing long stints in hospital on the gruelling road to recovery. 

Moreover, Octavia also wished to raise vital funds for the charity as it is a cause that is close to her heart. 

Horatio Chapple, whom many of you will know first envisaged creating therapeutic gardens in NHS spinal injury centres to support people throughout their rehabilitation, was a friend of the Butler family and a close friend of Octavia’s brother, Robin, in particular. 

Consequently, she felt that her first Half Ironman should be in support of something that means a great deal to her and her loved ones, as well as to countless others across the country. 

Octavia shared that she was overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity and that she never expected to even reach her target, therefore she is just as grateful as we are to everyone who has kindly donated.

Octavia’s JustGiving page will be open for a little while longer, so if you would like to make a contribution, please click here 

We are in absolute awe of everything Octavia’s achieved this past weekend and hope she’s spent today at the very least taking a well-deserved rest! 


If you’re feeling inspired by Octavia’s Half Ironman challenge, remember that you too can start your own fundraising story by simply clicking here.