For most people, running a marathon would be a massive undertaking, but a group of Cleckheaton firefighters are preparing to tackle one after cycling to Amsterdam.

The group of 13 from the station’s Blue Watch, led by Watch Commander Damian Cameron, will take part in the Amsterdam marathon after the 500 mile bike ride, which they hope to complete in just two days.

They are tackling the Herculean task, called the “Dutch courage” challenge, to raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Research and The Fire Fighters Charity. They were inspired by a colleague who was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 oesophageal cancer.

The team, who say they are “like a family,” hope to complete the 500 mile bike ride from Cleckheaton to the capital of the Netherlands in 48 hours. This will be followed by the 26.2 mile circular route from the city’s historical Olympic stadium through the Dutch countryside.

The challenge takes place on October 17, and although the team have not set a fundraising target they have already received £590 in donations with seven months to go.

Mr Cameron said: “We all had lots of ideas for fundraising and wanted a great challenge and something to do as a team. I raised the suggestion of the bike ride and the lads jumped at the idea.

“The level of fitness on the shift is reasonably high anyway due to the nature of the job and the six monthly tests we have to pass. We have guys who have completed a range of events from 5k runs to an Ironman Triathlon, although this will be a huge challenge for everyone.”

It is the first time the 13 have competed as a team outside of work, but the plight of their colleague, who asked not to be named, united them.

Mr Cameron added: “We work very closely together when on shift and we’ve become like a family. It’s the first time the whole shift of 13 has taken part in an event but so strong is the will to help the charities that can help him.”

To sponsor the team, visit uk.