Meet the Team: Helios

Meet the Team Helios:

Welcome back to 2019 team member Lorna Robertson Timmis! This time she is bringing two of her cousins and a good friend… We’re expecting big things!

Who are you?

G: My name is Gordon Rainey, but most people I care about on Earth call me G. I am an American-British mutt, and first cousin to co-team members Lorna Robertson Timmis and Isabella Knatchbull. My daily life involves keeping my two vampires happy (aged six years and 18 months), looking after my amazing wife Alice, and working as a management consultant in the business intelligence sector. I have lived in the UK since 2006, though spent much time here growing up and visiting family.

Lorna: Lorna, cousin to two fellow team mates. Loves coffee, training and skiing.

Isabella: My name is Isabella. Lorna and G are fellow first cousins. I am a full time mother, chasing after our young (aged 22,21,18,16 and 13) and canines (2 labs one with pups, terrier and pug) and excited beyond words to be taking on the type of challenge that makes me feel stretched and full of energy and can-do confidence.

Nishani: I am Nishani Bain aka Nishani Amerasinghe, fourth member of Team Helios with no genetic links, just a friend of Lorna. I am a mum to three kids (aged 17,13 and 12), two dogs, two tortoises and a bearded dragon. I am also a full-time ophthalmic surgeon specialising in Glaucoma and Cataract surgery.


What’s your inspiration for taking on such an epic challenge?

G: My children, my wife, and Lorna. The latter has done EIA once before, and came back raving about the challenges and rewards that the event presented. Family is everything to me, and I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to stretch myself. Ultimately, I want my two girls to see an example of going beyond what one thinks is possible through willpower and perseverance.

Lorna: Putting yourself out of your comfort zone, setting an example to my kids and being aware of how tough life is for a lot of people.

Isabella: My fellow team mates inspire me with their love laughter and lyrical optimism. With them at my side what could possibly go wrong?

Nishani: Definitely three aspects:

My husband James, this is the kind of thing he would do all the time. Despite being the most amazing father, husband, and highly respected Consultant Anaesthetist, he always looks for the next experience in life. He is the one who lives life to the full and will take on a challenge, whether it is rowing the Channel or climbing the Three Peaks in 24 hours, he takes it on with vigour and a seize the day attitude.

Lorna, an amazing human being who I am lucky to call my friend. She is the epitome of resilience, despite what life throws at her, she takes it on, smashes it and always with a quiet confidence and elegance.

My patients – Glaucoma is a slow progressing disease that steals people’s sight. Despite affecting 10% of the population over the age of 75 years old in the UK, it is relatively unknown. I want to use this EIA challenge to highlight this disease.

Why Everest in the Alps?

G: Because I adore the mountains more than anywhere else on Earth. Even while exercising hard (or perhaps especially while exercising hard), I am at peace in the mountains in a way I cannot find down below. On a nice day, skinning up often beats the way down, and I often surprise myself at the energy I seem to summon in the mountains (summer or winter). Famous last words, of course, and I know I will need a lot of it next February!

Lorna: Mountains, mountains, mountains. Perfect excuse to gorge on Swiss carbs and be in beautiful surroundings.

Isabella: The highest peak in the world- right on my doorstep.

Nishani: Though I have never been sporty, I do love skiing. Being in the mountains always makes me feel alive!


Have you ever done anything like this before?

G: I do plenty of skinning, boot packs and other off piste adventures. But nothing of this length and intensity, and I know it will be a stretch. I am looking forward to that!

Lorna: Yes I did EIA in 2019 with an all female team Artemis.

Isabella: My three peaks challenge a few years ago was the perfect starter for this main course. I bicycled between Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon and they called it Pure. When I heard about Everest it sounded like Pure madness. I was sold.

Nishani: I am not sporty, the most I have ever done is a 10k run in aid of Singapore National Eye Centre about 13 years ago and one for the Southampton Hospital Charity last year. Now my chance to do something epic for the charity, Glaucoma UK. Becky Scott (RS Performance) has been instrumental in getting me on the right training plan and correct mental state to take this on.

How are you tackling the training?

G: Running around my house chasing my children; more traditional running; HIIT; hiking in the Alps with a kid on my back; swimming.

Lorna: Daily

Isabella: “One day at a time” I keep mumbling under my breath, wondering how the others make it look so easy.

Nishani: Becky has given me a training plan. With her support, I am taking it one week at a time. Weekly Pilates with my great friend Tor Corbett at Damson Hill Cottage is giving me the core strength and flexibility. All of this is so not me, as I am not a fitness person, but I have to admit I am enjoying it!

What are you most looking forward to?

G: Laughter, sweat, good tunes, sore muscles, and a stiff drink at the end. Also the massages every evening.

Lorna: Seeing G struggle to make transitions on his split board, other than that, the laughter with the team and listening to techno with Tom (Bodkin).

Isabella: The ping of cash hitting the charity account. And the thrill of succeeding in some way to help others as they build their emotional health and mental well-being. And after it’s all over throwing my arms around Tim my husband and our children Amber Milo Ludo Isla and Willa, the stars who light up my sky.

Nishani: Increasing the awareness of Glaucoma and raising money for Glaucoma UK

What scares you about the event?

G: That this is the last year it will take place.

Lorna: Blisters and actually having to use benzoin tincture, I would rather remove a tonsil without anesthetic.

Isabella: This is the biggest physical challenge of my life. What if I’m not up to it?

Nishani: Not being up to it! Letting down my team, family and patients…

Anna Rae Dowling