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Swansea friends cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End for charity

L - R: Declan Cahill, Alex Chadd, Dorian Thomas

Three Swansea cyclists who completed a fundraising cycle ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End have raised more than £3,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The 900-mile journey took friends Declan Cahill, Dorian Thomas and Alex Chadd just twelve days to complete.

Speaking about the reasons for taking on their mammoth bike-ride challenge, Declan Cahill, said: “We decided to take on the challenge two years ago when we had a quick off-the-cuff chat at a rugby match about doing something significant to mark our approaching 50th birthdays.

“We agreed that we wanted to raise money for Macmillan as every one of us had some experience of Macmillan supporting our loved ones. For me, I took on this challenge in memory of my own mother Cynthia.

“Alex’s father, Peter Chadd died from cancer and his mother-in-law Diane Jones was living with a terminal lung cancer diagnosis. Sadly, Diane passed away a week before we set off for Scotland.

“We also wanted to ride in memory of the friends and work colleagues we have known who have died from cancer, especially Michael Parfitt a close colleague and friend of Dorian’s. We were keen that the money we raised would help those in our local communities.”

Speaking about the journey, Declan, said: “We enjoyed every minute of the challenge – the scenery was breath-taking, and we were blessed with great weather. Although the planned route was 80 to 90 miles per day, I had set my own personal challenge beyond the main one, which was to break 1,000 miles – a figure I successfully reached!

“On the trip we had a support vehicle but the individual regulations surrounding Covid-19 at that time, meant we had to pare down the number of people who could come on the journey with us.”

Reflecting on the fundraising adventure, Declan, said: “Surprisingly we didn’t have any aches or pains from the long-distance rides, but we had trained hard in all weathers before taking on the challenge. Apart from one puncture between us – we enjoyed every single day. The only low point was knowing that our adventure had ended but mostly we were just thrilled that the we had completed the challenge we devised three years previously.”

Offering advice to anyone thinking of taking on a physical challenge of this kind Declan, said: “Make sure your mindset is right, and make sure you start training well in advance. We used the National Cycle Route guides to plan our challenge route and they are a brilliant way to see some of the very best scenery. So much did we enjoy the experience that we’re planning on taking on this challenge again in 2024 but next time we’d like to take in the scenery on the West coast of Scotland.”

Speaking about the cycling challenge, Macmillan Relationship Fundraising Manager Sue Reece, said: “Macmillan is doing whatever it takes to make sure that people living with cancer get the care they need. Our charity relies on public funding and we are indebted to individuals like Declan, Dorian and Alex. The £3,040 they have raised will support local Macmillan services in the Swansea area.

“It costs £31 an hour to fund one of our amazing Macmillan nurses, so they money that they have raised will have a lasting impact on the lives of people living with cancer.”

The fundraising Just Giving page is still open for donations at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/friendsofalltwenjogle2021