May 24 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Sir Richard Branson, David Hasslehoff, Nell McAndrew and cast members from The Only Way is Essex have been among the celebrities taking part in the Virgin Active London Triathlon today.
Also taking part today were Mark Ramprakash, Alexandra Burke, Gareth Gates, Chelsee Healey and Kate Silverton.
The Virgin Active London Triathlon is the world’s largest event of its kind and attracts participants from across the globe. As well as celebrity participants the event also attracts amateur and professional triathletes, including the Olympic gold and bronze medallists Jonny and Alistair Brownlee.
More than 14,000 people will take part in this year’s event, which is spread over today and tomorrow
Speaking before the event this morning, Sir Richard said: “You can have everything you possibly want but if you don’t have health and fitness you don’t have anything,” he said.
“I’m an enormous believer in setting yourself a challenge every year and trying to accomplish that challenge.
“I’m lucky my kids are of an age when we can do wonderful challenges together.”
The 62-year-old Virgin tycoon said he did not dwell on the prospect that he may in the future not be as able to join in with sporting events.
He said: “I don’t worry too much, because kite-surfing is my main sport and that’s something I think I can do into my eighties, and there’s tennis I can still do into my eighties.
“Running you maybe have to be a bit careful of, but swimming you can do into your eighties.
“As long as you don’t suffer too many injuries then you should be able to carry on doing it for a long time.”
Virgin Active, which has more than 250 fitness clubs in the UK, once employed Olympic champion Jessica Ennis - and Sir Richard said he could see a future position for her within the company.
“I thought it would be quite funny to approach her to see if she’d like to have a beard and a moustache for an advert,” he said.
“We haven’t approached her yet but I think Virgin Active might be thinking of it.
“It was fun actually, she worked for Virgin Active for three years. She trained in between, so it was incredible what she achieved.”