115 %
£9,279.62
raised of £8,000 target
by 93 supporters
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Geoff Sherwin avatar
Geoff Sherwin

The 1,000 mile 'Land's End to John O'Groats' Challenge

Fundraising for Multiple Sclerosis Society

115 %
£9,279.62
raised of £8,000 target
by 93 supporters
Donate
  • Team members: Geoff Sherwin
  • Event: 1,000 miles of unforgiving road., 27 Aug 2011

Multiple Sclerosis Society

We are the MS Society. We are strong enough to stop MS together.

Story

 "Things do not happen.  Things are made to happen."

..................................................................                                  ..- John F. Kennedy.
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Hello...and many thanks for stopping by and taking some time out of your busy day to visit my fundraising page...it's very much appreciated.
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Back in August 2008 I started getting my head around an idea I'd had for a particular charity challenge. The distance from one end of the UK to the other can be anything between 874 to 1,050 miles (1,407 to 1,689 Km) depending upon which route you take. How difficult would it be - I thought - to cycle from Lands End to John O'Groats?This challenge isn't just about the distance, it's also about the hills!The route will involve climbing approx 38,386 feet. To put this into some kind of context...'Mount Everest' is 29,035 feet high. Another way of looking at the vertical climb would be this. I work in a building that has a restaurant on the lower ground floor, then you've got the ground floor above that, and then two other floors above that. 38,386 feet is the equivelent of taking the stairs from the restaurant to the top floor 533 times!!
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I'll also burn around 27,000 caloriesif I make it to John O'Groats!
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Why am I doing it?Everyone gets wrapped up in their daily lives and the problems that life relentlessly throws at you but I think it's important to just take a step back sometimes, and try to do something that's going to help those people who have really drawn the short straw in life...like young people trying to cope with MS. That's the thing about Multiple Sclerosis...it's a young person's disease. Often striking them down before they've even had chance to live their lives.
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Please visit this site: www.mssociety.org.uk to see what this disease is capable of. 100,000 people in the UK alone already know...as do 2,500,000 people worldwide.
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In the summer of 2008 (which seems like an eternity ago now) training began and slowly but surely by the summer of 2009 I was able to do 100 miles in a day and by the summer of 2010 'back to back' century rides...100 miles on one day followed by another 100 miles the following day were possible. All appeared to be going well with training until I started getting serious pain problems with my left knee, pain so severe that when it was really bad I would lose the ability to turn the pedal on the bike! I eventually ended up in front of my Doctor who appeared less than impressed with the intensity of the training and made me realise I might actually be doing something that may cause permanent damage.
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So I was forced to change a lot of plans - and consider the real possibility that I may not complete the challenge.I'd originally planned to do it with the emphasis on speed but when I developed this problem with my knee it basically changed everything.I took the Doc's advice and 'listened to my body'. I still intend to cycle from one end of the UK to the other....I'm just not entirely sure what's going to happen when I try to do it! I won't be trying to break any records, I just want to make it up to John O'Groats...in one piece!
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When I set off on the 27th August the challenge itself will have taken just 3 years to fundraise and prepare for - about 1,200 hours.In the final 6 months of preparation alone - over 3,000 miles (4,800 Km) of road training will be completed.A substantial chunk of this will have been done in the morning before work meaning many 5:00am starts to the day... with more training in the evening in the final stages of preparation. I really like my bed so getting up at that time - day after day in all weathers sometimes with the temperature well below freezing - takes monumental effort! But, having just hit 50 training and preparation is everything. I'm planning for the worst...but hoping for the best!
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By necessity, to make this little venture possible it’ll have cost £1,700 of my own money and three weeks annual leave by the time I get to John O'Groats - which I try not to think about too much! So to justify the financial outlay/time commitment my primary aim from the beginning was to raise a MEANINGFUL AMOUNT to make it all worth doing. At times circumstances have conspired so much that it simply felt like the charity challenge just wasn’t meant to happen and I've caught myself genuinely questioning if it was actually worth it. A little time on the many MS forums soon put everything into context and gave me my answer.
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If you feel that you would like to show your support for what I'm doing then that would make you a 'legend'. Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure and please know that I genuinely appreciate your gesture.Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid (which will increase the value of your donation by 25%) is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it's the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity...and for those who wish to sponsor me/make a pledge the conventional way, just say the word and I'll stop by with a sponsorship form.
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During the challenge all the time I’m on the road my mobile will be tracked via satellite and the details will be forwarded to two web sites:
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http://www.instamapper.com/ shows my exact location, speed and altitude, and shows it in real time - the screen will auto refresh.

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On the 'instamapper' home screen simply enter the username which is GeoffSherwin (no spaces) and the password which is 1000miles (no spaces)....then click on 'Login'. Thats it!

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http://www.everytrail.com/ shows how much of the 1,000 miles has been completed on one map - it updates at regular intervals during the day. This site has a lot more detailed information....and I'll also be doing an evening update on it each day.

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On the 'EveryTrail' home screen you don't require a user name or password.Just put Geoff Sherwin in the large search box and click 'Go'. You then simply click on my name (next to the photo) and then click on the 'Trips' link. (which is about half way down the page). Finally, click on the '1,000 mile Lands End to John O'Groats Challenge' link to see how far I've got.

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It’s some what ironic but worth mentioning at this point that I have friends who live to get on their bikes....I don't feel like that! When I first decided to do this I wasn’t a big fan of cycling…I’m still not! It can get pretty dangerous out there when you're on two wheels and it only has to go badly wrong once…and you’re history! A thought that’s never out of my head when I’m on the bike and which focuses the mind wonderfully! But all things considered…sometimes…just sometimes...my cycling friends will be glad to hear….'I get it’. :-)
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The prospect of doing around 1,000 miles with everything the British climate will no doubt have in store for me is daunting but in sponsoring me I want you to feel that I have earned every single penny...with interest! This web site immediately updates an 'app' on my mobile with all the details of any donation made. To see the total go even higher whilst actually doing the challenge could provide no better motivation to make it to John O’Groats!
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Thanks for your time...and have a great day!
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Kind regards,

Geoff.

Please remember:  The total amount raised includes 'Gift Aid'.  This is something that increases the value of all eligible donations by 25% - courtesy of HM Revenue & Customs - and will be claimed by the MS Society.  If you decide to support this cause please don't forget to tick the 'Gift Aid' box - it costs you nothing extra but makes a huge difference to the charity!  Thanks again  :-)
 
 

Photos

7
  • LEJOG..done! 8 Days, 23 Hours and 29 Min
  • It seemed like a good idea at the time!
  • "If I can run up it...I can cycle up it! +5

Supporters

93