A FATHER-of-three,who is one of the country's top senior age group duathletes, has told of how his own battle with cancer has not stopped him from competing in the sport.

Nick Dinsdale, from Clitheroe, who has competed in both cycle and duathlons across the UK and Europe, was told he had Stage 4 (aggressive) prostate cancer in April 2018.

Despite this he has trained and competed throughout his gruelling treatment.

Last November, Mr Dinsdale qualified to represent GB in the European Cross Duathlon (age group 65-69) Championships in Transylvania, which took place in July this year and in which he finished fifth.

He then followed up the achievement by competing in the iconic Alpe D’huez road duathlon in France to win his age group.

Mr Dinsdale, 64, who is proprietor of NJD Sports Injury Centre in Lincoln Way, Clitheroe, said the diagnosis had turned his life upside down.

He said: “Aged 64-years-old, fit, supposedly healthy and competing in both cycle and duathlons across the UK and Europe, it turned my life completely upside down, coming as the diagnosis did as a complete surprise.”

“I had insisted on annual prostate check-up blood tests as I had had symptoms that suggested prostate cancer for some years but these symptoms are very similar to benign prostate enlargement or BPE.”

Following his diagnosis, Mr Dinsdale endured four months of chemotherapy and after a three-month recovery period, 37 consecutive days of radiotherapy.

He was also prescribed quarterly injections of hormone therapy, which are still on-going.

Despite treatment side-effects, Mr Dinsdale used his professional knowledge to re-set his mind and his training schedule and manipulate his diet so that throughout his treatment and to this day, he is still competing.

Mr Dinsdale said: “I believe cancer is fought in the mind as well as clinically within the body. You have to believe that after being diagnosed with cancer, quality of life doesn’t have to end.”

During chemotherapy, Mr Dinsdale learnt to swim so he could compete in his very first triathlon alongside his three daughters – Helen, Michelle and Nicola.

Mr Dinsdale then competed in his second triathlon with wife Carol, who as he was finishing chemotherapy was starting the treatment following a diagnosis of breast cancer.

He is now partnering with charity Rosemere Cancer Foundation to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

The charity works to bring world class cancer treatments and services to cancer patients from throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria being treated at Rosemere Cancer Centre, the region’s specialist cancer treatment centre at the Royal Preston Hospital.

Mr Dinsdale added: "Without my family, especially Carol, coping with my cancer would have proved immensely difficult.

"Current statistics show that one in every eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, which claims approximately 130 lives a day in this country.

"I want to promote awareness of the disease, the importance having checks and also, of setting goals, which can help get you through treatment.”