Andrew gets back in saddle after cancer battle

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THE man who set up Scotland's first triathlon more than 20 years ago has fought back from cancer to complete the gruelling event once again.

Former teacher Andrew Grant, 70, was one of around 400 people taking part in the annual Edinburgh triathlon on New Year's day.

He managed to finish the event with a respectable time of one hour 49-minutes despite battling harsh weather conditions on the day.

And thanks to his efforts – swimming eight lengths of the Commonwealth Pool, cycling 11-miles around Queen's Park and then running more than three miles in the park – around 600 was raised for the charity Prostate Scotland.

Mr Grant, from Easter Warriston, was treated at the Western General Hospital, after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in February last year.

He said: "The doctors and nurses at the hospital were amazing. I wanted to be able to do something that would help their unit continue its work after they helped me. So I decided to get back to training and do the triathlon."

Mr Grant introduced the triathlon to Scotland in 1985, staging the first ever at Wester Hailes Education Centre where he taught. He was glad to return to the event after his illness and pleased with his performance.

"At least I didn't come last but my time was pretty good I think. The weather was bad with it raining all day but it helped there wasn't any wind."

Prostate cancer affects almost half the male population. It was only after two relatives had died and another was diagnosed with advanced stages of the condition that Mr Grant, a grandfather of four went, for a check-up. He said: "It was after that I had the operation but there were complications meaning I was in and out of hospital for six months.

"Until then I had been fortunate enough healthwise never to have missed a day off work being ill, since I started working, when I was 14 until the day I retired at 65.

"Like most men I seldom visited the doctor considering myself to be fit and healthy. So it was with some shock that I found out I had the symptoms of prostate cancer. But I was told it was treatable and now I am fine again. For that I thank everyone involved at the Western General for their help and care."

The chances of getting prostate cancer increase with age. It occurs most frequently in men over 50 years old and men with close family members who have had prostate cancer are more likely to develop the condition themselves.