Funeral director undertakes Ironman challenge for Royal Liverpool Hospital

Funeral director Samantha Dean-Howard will compete in an Ironman challenge to raise money for the hospital that cared for her sister.

Samantha, of Dean Brothers Ltd of Formby in Merseyside, undergoes an intense training regime alongside her work at the independent funeral directors to ensure her fitness ahead of the Ironman challenge in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on 22 July.

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In preparation for the challenge, Samantha is aiming to run 15 to 20 miles a week and conduct two hours of swimming in both pool and open water, on top of hours of gym work and physiotherapy – provided courtesy of Sarah Hall Physiotherapy.

On her website Samantha states that besides helping to run the family company, she also helps her husband to run his company. “I have to be able to multi task big time, as fitting it all in is by no means easy!”

To complete the challenge, Samantha will have to swim 2.4 miles in open water, complete a 112-mile cycling course and run a whole 26.2 mile marathon.

Royal Liverpool Hospital’s Ward 10z will be the beneficiary of Samantha’s efforts after helping her sister, Sharon Bradley, when she underwent treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia last year.

“I thought it would be nice to raise money for the ward that helped her [Sharon] at Liverpool Royal Hospital.” Samantha said.

Family is at the heart of the funeral directors, established in 1827, and they are getting fully behind Samantha’s efforts. Her mother Joyce is organising the sponsorship money for the challenge; Samantha’s husband Paul Howard’s business is providing her clothing and bike; Dean Brothers, her family’s funeral directors, are supplying support t-shirts; and Iain Dean Design, run by her brother, supplied her website.

All Samantha’s sponsors are donating additional funds to the ward she’s running in aid of.

Samantha added: “The money raised will help improve the ward Sharon stayed in, where patients [can] stay for up to three to four weeks sometimes. They plan to extend the day ward to make it more comfortable for IV sessions.”

On 3 June Samantha completed the ‘Old Man’ Half Ironman in Coniston, finishing as the fastest woman, 16th overall, in a ladies course record.

To support Samantha, send cheques payable to ‘Ward 10z Royal Hospital’ to Joyce Dean, 78 Gores Lane, Formby, L37 7DF. For further information visit Samantha’s website:

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