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Istead Rise
Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats, and why!

I am being treated for PMR which is a debilitating condition. Although it’s 18 months since my first symptoms I am still awaiting confirmation of diagnosis. Amongst other factors, Covid19 has caused delays to my medical appointments.

The advice for PMR sufferers is to do as much exercise as you can. Last year a friend of mine asked if I would be interested in completing the cycling challenge with him. I’ve always been up for a challenge throughout my life and I knew that as I had to change my lifestyle I agreed to take it on. At 19.5 stone in weight I started my training in March this year completing on average 3-4 rides per week, some of which have been 80-90 miles long.

I saw the ride as an opportunity to raise funds for a local cause, and with support of sponsorship of people it really motivates and spurs you on to complete the challenge. A friend suggested raising money for Ifield School. Admittedly, although I have lived in Istead Rise for 30 years, I was not fully aware of the good work that the school does within our community. The school located in Gravesend is a foundation co-educational special school for pupils aged 4 to 19 years with profound, severe and complex learning needs.

I have realised in the time living here that Istead Rise has a unique community spirit and would love Istead Rise residents to get behind and support this local school from £1 and upwards! Donations can be made via GoFundMe here or there is a sponsor form at Istead Rise Community Centre. Please either go to the office, or the bar (if you are a member).

I start on 4th September at Lands End. The route that I am taking to John O’Groats is approximately 1,200 miles. After Cornwall and Devon I will just touch Wales before moving onto York, I cut across the British Isles to Newcastle and then up the East Coast of Scotland. We estimate it will take us 17 days, if I’m honest I’m actually quite nervous and anxious of the challenge that lies ahead (those that know me know that I’m not built for speed, I’m built for comfort!). It’s an unsupported ride which I am funding myself, therefore all donations received will go direct to the charity. All donations will be very gratefully received, however small, and I thank you.

Martin Thompson

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