Police find body in search for missing triathlete in Kent

LEYBOURNE LAKES: The venue for the race which ended tragically.

KENT police have recovered a body in the search for a fundraising triathlete who disappeared in the middle of a race. 

Paul Gallihawk was competing in his first ever triathlon on Saturday (August 29), raising money for King’s College Hospital in London where his father received treatment in 2014, when he disappeared during the swim stage of the race.

Organisers of the Ocean Lake sprint triathlon at Leybourne Lakes raised the alarm when they realised a bike had not been collected for the next stage. 

A body was found on Monday, and although police said it was yet to be formally identified, they confirmed that the family of the 34-year-old from Maidstone had been informed.

Following the announcement of his disappearance, donations on Mr Gallihawk’s JustGiving page surged, now totalling more than £6,500, many times his initial target of £300. 

On the page he had written: “I’m raising money for King’s College Hospital who looked after my dad through a tough 2014.”

The organisers of the race, which was certificated by Triathlon England and requires specific safety measures to be in place, said in a statement on Facebook that they were shocked by what had happened: “Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”

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