I feel that if you are going to ask for sponsorship for charity, it needs to be earned with a serious challenge. So at the end of July I will be completing my biggest challenge yet: I'll be riding the London-Edinburgh-London Audax
Total distance is 1400km, similar to Lands End-John O'Groats. There's also the 11,500m ascent to add to the challenge, that's about 30% HIGHER than Mount Everest!
My aim is to complete the ride within 96 hours, so averaging 350km a day, regardless of the weather. At an average moving speed of 25kph, that's 14 hours a day in the saddle, add rest and food stops to that and it doesn't allow much time for sleeping.
I've been training hard since Christmas, gradually increasing the distance and pre-riding as much of the route as possible. I'm feeling fairly confident, if a little nervous as this is my first ever audax. ( From Wikipedia: "Audax is a cycling sport in which participants attempt to cycle long distances within a pre-defined time limit").
All in all, a good challenge raising money for a good cause.
Ben Williams was Fi's cousin and Godson. He was a warm hearted, talented and cheerful boy with a love of all sport and a particular passion for cricket. A keen wicketkeeper and batsman, he played for Haslemere Preparatory School, the Royal Grammar School in Guildford and Grayswood CC, and he represented West Surrey and Surrey from the U9 age group onwards. He went on tour with Surrey to Holland in 2000 and Perth, Australia in 2004. Ben was very much a team player, always encouraging others, and he enjoyed coaching and helping those younger than himself.
At the age of 14 he was found to have a heart arrhythmia, which resulted in him having to stop all forms of sport and physical activity. He died five months later in February 2006 shortly after collapsing at school. It was subsequently determined that he had a rare heart muscle disorder.
The Trust provides funding to support children and young adults who are suffering from arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), to help them and their families live as normal a life as possible. It is doing this through the funding of a ground-breaking new nursing post at the Royal Brompton Hospital, London. Ben’s Nurse was appointed on 1 April 2008, two years after the creation of the Trust.
The Trustees also wish to celebrate Ben’s love of sport by supporting youth cricket initiatives, with a particular emphasis on wicketkeeping. The Trust has funded specialist wicketkeeping coaching for two young Surrey wicketkeepers by ex-England captain Alec Stewart, a Patron. It is also supporting the Hampshire Cricket Board’s wicketkeeping coaching initiative.
Charity Registration No: 1116627
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(Note - previous donations at charitygiving http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/paulmarshall will hopefully still get through once the Charity Commission sort out the mess: http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/news/charitygiving-website-suspended/)