A sporting quartet has helped raise over £5000 for two disability sport groups by travelling from Land’s End to John O’Groats over seven days - all with a little bit of a twist involved.
On Saturday, July 24, Glen Johnson, Richard Cumes, Roger Sheridan and Richard Lonsdale all geared up for the biggest ride of their life - looking to ride a total of 1000 miles and 150 miles per day. Not content with the major challenge ahead of them already, the four men added an extra little excursion to include a climb of over 10,000 metres, which took in the highest road passes in the UK. This little addition took them to Gospel Pass (549m) in Wales, Killhope Cross (627m) in England and Cairnwell (670m) in Scotland and gave them the ‘unique factor’ they were looking for. Despite facing an uphill battle, quite literally, all four men are all well versed in facing sporting challenges.
Glen has been a member of Tadcaster Harriers Running club for over 25 years and has completed six London marathons, while the other three have all taken part in cycling expeditions and triathlons in their home locations of Oxford and Devon. However, this challenge was about much more than the four men testing themselves against some of the steepest climbs in the UK - it was about supporting two disability charities.
To take on the 1,000 mile Land’s End to John O’Groats challenge, Richard, Glen, Roger and Richard had paired with The Outdoor Partnership, who run specific additional needs activities and The Wave Project, who bring surfing to people with both physical and mental health. Glen said: “We know a lot of people that have done the regular Land’s End to John O’Groats journey, but we wanted to do something unique to challenge us all. We all have a link through sport and have individual skillsets in cycling, running, triathlons, so we knew we were fit enough to take on the challenge. “The issue was that we trained independently because we come from different parts of the country and, I was slightly apprehensive. “The charities we wanted to help work a lot with disability groups and are fantastic causes. All four of us are getting to a certain age, and we know how lucky we have been during our lives to do our sport without any issues. It's now time to help those that enjoy sport but either can’t do it or need specialist equipment to do it.” As well as the challenge of a 1,000-mile journey, Glen has highlighted that creating a new friendship group was another bonus of the trip. Before taking on the Land’s End to John O’Groats expedition, Glen only knew two of the men, but by the end, he says that there’s now a tight bond between the quartet.
He added: “To start the journey as more acquaintances through sport - we gelled so well on the first day and looked after each other from minute one. We are now really great buddies and feel like we have been through a lot together. “The most demanding thing of the whole challenge was doing 150 miles back to back without much of a break in between.” After completing the challenge on July 31, all four men were delighted to find out that their fundraising page had hit their £5000 target and have so far reached £5085 in generous donations. The funds will now be split between The Outdoor Partnership and The Wave Project, and the Just Giving page will remain active for people to still contribute to it. To donate to the page, visit www. justgiving.com/crowdfunding/riding4riders. ABOVE: Riding over the Firth of Fourth road bridge, Edinburgh.
From left to right: Roger Sheridan, Richard Lonsdale, Richard Cumes and Glen Johnson. (19-08-149 SU)