Telford mayor saddling up for epic bike ride in aid of hospice
A mayor is gearing up for a marathon bike ride in aid of a charity supporting people with incurable illnesses.
Mayor of Great Dawley Ian Preece will begin his cycle journey from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, and he aims to do it in 99 hours – all to raise money for Severn Hospice.
The traditional distance by road is 874 miles (1,407 km) and takes most cyclists 10 to 14 days; the record for cycling the long-distance route is held by Andy Wilkinson, who completed the journey in 41 hours, 4 minutes, and 22 seconds.
Councillor Preece will need to take in 8,000 calories a day and will eat every 20 minutes snacking on carb gels, protein bars, and jelly babies.
So far, he has raised almost £1,000 and his training has included journeys such as Telford to Barmouth and Telford to Prestatyn in one day, fitting it all in around work. He averages 30km an hour on his bike and has hit 63km going downhill.
He said: “Severn Hospice is the best charity, and I will do anything - the more extreme the better- to raise money for it. My main motivation though is that Severn Hospice took care of my younger sister Emma and the care our family received was phenomenal.
“I know there will be some pain and suffering when I do this challenge but it’s nothing compared to what the patients and their families go through so it’s totally worth it and it will motivate me to push through.”
It is not the first time Mr Preece has raised funds for Severn Hospice. Earlier this year he cycled from Telford to Dover raising £2,167 and he regularly organises charity tea dances and raffles.
Nicky Green, senior fundraiser for Severn Hospice said: “Ian has been an incredible supporter of ours over the years – from organising all sorts of fundraising events to undertaking amazing crazy challenges.
“When we heard of his latest fundraiser, we were blown away. It illustrates his commitment to us and shows what a terrific guy he is. I can’t imagine how hard it will be to cycle such a distance in 99 hours but knowing Ian, he has the determination and grit to complete it.
“As a charity, we are so grateful to our supporters – without them we would not be able to care for so many local people when they are facing heartbreak. Their support is priceless, and they mean the world to us. We really can’t ever thank them enough for what they do.”
To boost Mr Preece’s fundraising total, go to gofundme.com/f/charity-bike-ride-lands-end-to-john-ogroats
Severn Hospice provides care and support to thousands of people living in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales who are living with incurable illness. But this care is not without cost, and it has to raise £2 for every £3 it spends.