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Cheltenham barber Mikee Eliades is set to prove he’s a cut above the rest – by competing in this year’s Staffordshire Ironman 70.3 to raise funds for local charity Heidi’s Heroes.

The 35-year-old is maybe better known for running Jim’s in Bath Road, the barber shop opened  20 years ago by his Dad Jim – also known as -Demetris.

But Mikee, who is a member of the Tri Team Glos, is already in training for the triathlon  challenge after recovering from an injury

On Sunday June 9th he will swim 1.2 miles in Chasewater reservoir then peel off his wet suit to cycle 56 miles through countryside around Lichfield, Burton-on-Trent and across the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. He will finish with a 13.1 mile run – a half marathon – around Stafford town centre, finishing in Market Square – the total distance covered by the triathlon being 70.3 miles.

“I’ve twice done the 70.3 distance and if all goes well with my training I’m really hoping I can beat my previous six hour time – but the main thing being I want raise at least £1,000 for Heidi’s Heroes,” said Mikee.

Mikee took up weight training and power lifting after a difficult few years following the tragic death of his older brother George, 28, in a car accident in 2009. The brothers and their father worked together and the loss devastated parents Jim and Mary as well as Mikee and his sister Elena.

“I was always a bit of a party animal but I didn’t want to turn to drink to help deal with George’s death.  With the support of friends I went to the gym instead and started weightlifting” says Mikee.

Since them he has powered through two 70.3 triathlon, including an official Ironman in Weymouth last year and has raised more than £2,000 for local charities.

This year he generously offered to support Heidi’s Heroes after regularly cutting the hair of two of its trustees, Paul and Richard Wood.

“I didn’t know Heidi, but I know Paul her husband and his brother Richard and I know what it’s like to lose someone close. It’s great to focus on doing something positive to help others and Heidi’s Heroes does some excellent work for those with cancer, the bereaved and teaching children to swim.”

Mikee is already swimming, running or cycling daily, as well as hill walking with his boxer dog Diesel. He will also be supporting his sister Elena in a 10km run in Finsbury Park in March, in aid of Macmillan.

“I’m serious about my training and will be eating lots of protein and carb the more I do, although I do love crisps,” he said. “It would be great to win the Staffordshire Ironman, but I do this because I enjoy it and to raise money for good causes.  I hope our clients and the local business community will support me.”

You can drop a donation into Mikee at Jim’s Barber Shop in Bath Road, or donate online at his Virgin Money Giving page which will follow very soon. Thank you.