A HEROIC dad who refused to let his disability beat him took on a seafront triathlon... dressed as Spiderman.

Determined Billy Ray Mansell swam, ran and cycled his way through the challenge, which saw him travel around 27km to and from the triathlon, and up and down Southend seafront during the event on his 26th birthday.

Billy, who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia five years ago, stopped to shoot a few superhero webs at the public along his journey before finally being greeted at the finishing line by his three-year-old son Noah and the rest of the family.


The triathlon also meant that despite his long-term condition, which often brings him chronic widespread pain and fatigue, Billy was able to finish his very own lockdown challenge – completing a whopping 389km in just 30 days.

Mr Mansell, who is from Rochford, said: “My journey has been a difficult one, I was misdiagnosed and spent a lot of time in hospital.

"I had so many symptoms like muscle tension, fatigue, muscle spasms, and chronic pain starting from my spine which really affected me and often still does.


"I wasn’t in a good place and began to deteriorate. I also have joint problems in my jaw from where I’d clench it in pain and stress made things a lot worse.

“It’s majorly linked with your mental health. Over time you learn to manage it. I started to do low impact exercise and have come such a long way, which is why this was so important to me.


“I started at the bottom of the hill next to the Cliffs Pavilion and swam about 150 metres in the cold sea. I took on a 10km bike ride up to Uncle Toms Cabin and back, before running 5km to the Sealife Adventure and back again. I finished at the top of the hill and actually cycled 12km to and from the event too, so overall was about 27km.

“Of course I had to stop along the way and show off a few spidey moves.

Doing it dressed up was definitely disorientating, but I put in the practice doing chores around the house and even did the gardening in it so I was ready.

“It was so nice to have people motivating me, shouting ‘go on spidey’ and pushing me to carry on. I’m determined to today round up the kilometres I’ve completed to 400. I can’t stop now.”

Billy, who took on the task as part of the At Home Superheroes challenge, will donate all fundraising from the triathlon to the Active Essex Foundation, who campaign for everyone to take part in sport, including those with disabilities.

The At Home Superheroes challenge forms part of the Superhero Series powered by Marvel, and is one of the UK's largest disability and inclusion sport series.

He continued: “I couldn’t think of a better way of celebrating my birthday. It’s about seeing your own ability not disability.”

To donate, visit https://bit.ly/3ftCwiq

For more information, head to https://superheroseries.co.uk/