Donations pass £12,000 for triathlete who died in his first race

A fund set up by a novice triathlete who died in his first race has smashed his £300 target figure by reaching more than £12,000.

Donations have poured in to 34-year-old Paul Gallihawk's JustGiving page since he disappeared during a 750m open water swim at the weekend.

It is believed the alarm was raised after he failed to emerge from the water to collect his bicycle for the second leg of the race - a 14-mile bike ride.

The event - the Ocean Lake Triathlon at Leybourne Lakes near Maidstone, Kent - also included a five-mile run on Saturday.

The two-day search for Mr Gallihawk, from Maidstone, ended when rescue teams found his body in the lakes on Bank Holiday Monday.

Paying tribute, his family, including parents Malcolm and Linda and his brother, Nick, said "he would do anything to help anyone".

His girlfriend Hayley Wright said she "loved him to bits and always will". Mr Gallihawk was raising money for King's College Hospital in London which looked after his father last year.

Messages of condolence were written on his JustGiving page. One wrote: "Stars shine bright, yours will shine the brightest tonight! RIP Paul. Thoughts are with your loved ones."

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