Kirkcaldy friends reunited for charity triathlon

In the science class at Balwearie in 1987: Alan, standing left; Alasdair, sitting left and Stephen, standing right.
In the science class at Balwearie in 1987: Alan, standing left; Alasdair, sitting left and Stephen, standing right.

Three old friends who went to school in Kirkcaldy are reuniting to take on the Bloodwise Blenheim Palace Triathlon on June 2 to raise money for the blood cancer charity.

Alan Choo-Kang, Alasdair Rankin and Stephen Teape, who are all 48, attended Balwearie High School between 1981 and 1987.

Alastair Rankin is taking part in the triathlon with former schoolmates

Alastair Rankin is taking part in the triathlon with former schoolmates

They have formed a triathlon relay team to raise money for the blood cancer charity Bloodwise, for which Dr Rankin is now director of research.

Dr Rankin, who will take on the 750m open water swimming leg of the triathlon, said: “Bloodwise has made a huge difference to people affected by blood cancer, whether it’s the children with leukaemia that Ian Botham started his walks for when I was a kid, or the many adults I come across in my job with all types of blood cancer, including leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and many more.

“It’s the third biggest cause of cancer death – more than either breast or prostate cancer.”

The three friends were all in the same sixth year chemistry class at Balwearie, and have all gone on to pursue careers in science.

Mr Teape, who will complete the 5km running leg of the race, is a chemistry teacher in Hampshire, and Dr Choo-Kang, who will take on the 20km cycle, is a doctor in Essex specialising in treating diabetes.

Dr Rankin, who lives with his family in London, said: “That small class of seven also produced another science teacher, a medicinal chemist who found new ways to make cancer drugs work better, a medical director for a pharmaceutical company and an explosives engineer, which every chemistry student really wants to be.

“We all know how vital research is to helping the people who need it most, and we also know that we wouldn’t be doing the jobs we do now without fantastic teachers at a great school. I’ve always wanted to do something together to show that.”

Bloodwise’s research is targeted at understanding more about blood cancer, finding causes, improving diagnosis and treatments, and running ground-breaking clinical trials for patients. The team hopes to raise £1000.

Visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/balwearieoldfolkforbloodwise.