Couple’s epic journey raises vital funding

Anthony and Sarah Ridehalgh. (s)
Anthony and Sarah Ridehalgh. (s)

A couple from Wilpshire took the scenic route when they cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise £1,511 for the Rosemere Burnley Chemotherapy Unit Appeal, which extended their trip by an extra 45% on the shortest recognised road distance.

All in all, IT consultant Anthony Ridehalgh (43) and wife Sarah (40), who works as an NHS administrator based in Blackburn, spent 96 hours, 51 minutes in the saddle over 16 days, averaging 77 miles a day. In total, they pedaled 1,232 miles, taking in various hills to make a combined climb of 73,763 ft – more than 2.5 times the height of Everest!

Throughout, Anthony and Sarah, who is a member of Accrington Road Runners Club, were supported by Sarah’s dad Brian Clarke and his partner Pauline Wright, who travelled alongside them in their motor home. They also looked after Anthony and Sarah’s dog Calla, which made the journey too.

Sarah said: “First and foremost, we would like to thank Brian and Pauline, not just for moving our beds to the end of each leg, feeding us, looking after Calla and our aching muscles, but also for their company and keeping us sane!

“Clitheroe physiotherapist Denise Park has been a great support and we also benefited from a few kind donations to assist us along the way from Liz Pepper @ Power Cookie, RockTape, Battles udder cream @ Supplement Solutions, Great Eccleston, Squirrel Sisters bars, Pulsin bars, Dave Seidel for the loan of sat nav for the motor home, and Pam and Barry for being at the finish to cheer us.”

Sarah, who next month will represent Great Britain in the Duathlon World Championships in Aviles, Spain, which combines cycling and running, added: “We would also like to thank everyone who made a donation to the Rosemere Burnley Chemotherapy Unit Appeal in our name. On a few occasions, we both needed encouragement to push on and it was knowing donations were coming in that kept us focused.”

The money the couple raised will be added to the £90,000 the appeal has so far raised towards its £100,000 target. This is half the cost of building a brand new chemotherapy unit at Burnley General Hospital. The other half is coming from East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.