Aylesbury Vale cousins complete Olympic-length triathlon in memory of 6-year-old Oscar

A pair of cousins living in Aylesbury Vale marked the 20th anniversary of a relative’s passing by completing an Olympic-length triathlon.

By James Lowson
Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 4:45 pm

Ben Long, 28, from Winslow, and cousin Gus Derry, 24, from Great Horwood, completed the endurance test in memory of a six-year-old boy, Oscar, who died of a brain tumour.

He was Ben’s little brother.

They competed at the Swanage Triathlon on 3 July, swimming 1,500 metres, cycling 38km and running 10km in aid of Brain Tumour Research. It was Ben’s first triathlon and Gus’ fifth.

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Ben Long and cousin Gus Derry

The pair have exceeded their £2,740 fundraising target, which is equivalent to the cost of funding a full day of research at one of the charity’s Centres of Excellence.

In surpassing that total, they will be given the honour of placing a memorial tile on one of its Walls of Hope.

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Ben, an engineer, said: “I’m chuffed, I really am. Knowing the people we do and how they all come together for these things, I’m not surprised that we hit our target but I’m overjoyed with the fact we have. Everyone’s been so generous. I’m also excited about visiting a centre and placing a tile and Gus is ecstatic about it because he’s never done it before.”

Ben and Gus at the finish line, photo from Brain Tumour Research

Oscar died two weeks after being diagnosed with an incurable and untreatable diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) brain.

Gus, who is joint owner of Bucks Brothers Gin in Little Horwood, said: “It was a brilliant day, absolutely fantastic. We had such a laugh and I was so proud of Ben for doing his first triathlon – it’s no small feat but he just got on with it and now we’ll be able to visit a research facility, which will be an amazing experience.

“The support we’ve had from our friends and family has been amazing and the amount we’ve raised is incredible.”

Ben, who was nervous about the race having not been able to practice swimming in the sea, added: “We did it in memory of Oscar because this year marks 20 years since he passed from a DIPG and Swanage is somewhere we used to go as kids – it was a family destination.”