Cycle route challenge for Bradford runners

DETERMINED: Chris Hall, left, Chris Sykes, Adrian Frearson, Joff Ward, Jake Grinsdale

DETERMINED: Chris Hall, left, Chris Sykes, Adrian Frearson, Joff Ward, Jake Grinsdale

First published in News

A group of fundraisers from Brighouse are aiming to run the Coast to Coast cycle route in under 24 hours to raise money for a West Yorkshire children’s hospice.

The team of seven will tackle the 138-mile challenge in ten-mile stages, with the aim of raising £5,000 for the Martin House hospice in Boston Spa.

Team leader Chris Sykes, 45, has been an ambassador for the charity for the past six years after a friend’s son was cared for at the hospice.

He thinks the 24-hour element of the challenge, which will see the team climb more than 2,000 feet, marks the first time the route has been attempted in such a way.

“We wanted to do something unique, and had to look into the route to see if it was doable in that time,” he said. “It’s a bit of a leap into the unknown, and some of the ascents will be tough, especially during the night.

“Recovery will be the key, but we’re determined to beat 24 hours and we’ll keep going for the cause.

“We all live in the same village, Clifton, and fortunately it’s hilly around here, so that has helped with the training.”

The first runner will set off from Whitehaven on the West Coast of Cumbria at 5pm on Friday, June 20, with the last team member hoping to finish in Sunderland, the end of the Coast-to-Coast cycle route, before 5pm the following day.

Support vehicles will accompany each runner, and approximately every ten miles the team will change so that each of the group have run at least twice during the 24 hours.

Martin House, established in 1987, provides free care and support for the families of children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and Mr Sykes said the entire team felt the charity was a worthy cause.

“We all have children, so the kind of work the hospice does is close to our hearts,” he said. “The challenge will be a real joint-effort, and we know we’ll have to encourage each other when the going gets tough.”

The team’s principal sponsor is York-based communications company scarlettabbott, but they are still looking for businesses to contribute £50 to sponsor each of the 16 individual stages that will make up the event.

For more information, visit www.justgiving.com/cliftonc2c, or call 07792 465909.

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