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Will we make it?
Will we make it?

I will take on the Ironman challenge on September 7th in Malbork [a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile (42.2 km) run], and you put your money on me. If we succeed, we will collect enough to finance the purchase of medical ventilators vital for the hospital in Barczewo near Olsztyn.

You can either (A) declare a donation amount and make the donation once I have finished my challenge, or (B) you can make your donation first, regardless of the result. If you want even higher emotions, you can take part in a charity bet (C) by declaring a given sum of money (10, 35…1000 PLN or EURO, USD) for every fifteen minutes above the 16 hours limit. Perhaps your company could make an even more substantial bet. For example, if I finish the challenge in 14h07min, it will mean I “cut” seven quarters of an hour. You will then pay 7x the declared amount. If I complete the challenge in 13h12min, then it will be 11x the declared amount. The quicker I am, the more you end up donating. [update from July 23rd: apparently I can complete the challenge in 13-14h if the conditions are favourable and if I keep training]

Send us an email, declare your donation or your charitable bet, and specify whether you agree to be named among the contributors.

How it started: during an animated discussion concerning conscience and the value of life, I sent my friends an unusual video: –

Soon afterwards, an email appeared from Jerzy Donimirski: “Tomek, what a powerful video. How about you did Ironman for charity? In the hospital in Barczew they urgently need to purchase a few ventilators – that would be something!”! [The Ironman is the hardest triathlon: a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile (42.2 km) run]

To make a long story short, I said: OK. But! There are some hurdles: I am 48 years old and I work a minimum of 8 hours a day. I have never attempted any triathlon before, I don’t like cycling and I don’t own a racing bicycle (I will borrow one). I have a swimmer’s card but I don’t frequent pools. There’s good news too: I ran a marathon four times with a result under 4 hours (personal record 3h44min), and I placed myself within the 16h limit of the mountain ultramarathon called the 7 Valleys Run (100km). However, I only have 2 months left for preparations, and I haven’t been particularly active in the last 10 months until the end of this May. We can undertake this risk together: I will sacrifice my time, my effort, the cost of preparations and the challenge itself, while you, or your company, will sacrifice the donation. We’re starting in Malbork on September 7th with the full Ironman distance and a 16h limit


We are collecting funds for 5 medical ventilators [Polish: respiratory] urgently needed in the Barczewo hospital near Olsztyn. The cost of one such machine is around 24,000 PLN (6 000 EURO.

Donations can be made to the following account:

The Polish Knights of Malta Foundation “Pomoc Maltańska” in Warsaw

Bank: PKO BP S.A.

Account number:  51 1020 1156 0000 7602 0089 7512

with a note: “TT – respiratory”

For people from abroad


IBAN: dla EUR PL33 1020 2892 0000 5102 0028 4992

dla USD PL85 1020 2892 0000 5602 0026 6254

with a note:“TT – respiratory”

And also:

I’m writing a blog dedicated to the preparations which are for me a race against time. You can read there about the Barczewo hospital and the Order of Malta. You will find it all under, as well as on Facebook. I will also keep posting the logotypes and names of all those who made their bets and agreed to be named. If you want, you can use this event within your company’s CSR policy. If you have any ideas of your own – by all means share them with us!

Any questions? Email us and I am already working on it and waiting for your declaration.


Tomasz Tarnowski – member of the Polish Association of Knights of Malta

Project coordinator: Jerzy Donimirski – member of the Board of the Polish Association of Knights of Malta

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