Three Sunderland friends raise almost £3,000 for St Benedict’s Hospice by cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats

Three Sunderland friends have cycled around 1,000 miles from Lands End in Cornwall to John O’Groats in Scotland while raising money for St Benedict’s Hospice.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 3:47 pm
Updated Sunday, 11th July 2021, 11:57 am

Michael Fletcher, Mick Hooper and Barry Haley set off on the gruelling challenge from Lands End on June 19 and completed feat 13 days later on Thursday, July 1 – raising almost £3,000 for St Benedict’s Hospice in the process.

The trio cycled around 1,000 miles and climbed an elevation twice the height of Mount Everest throughout the ride, with Michael explaining the reason for taking on the challenge.

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The group of friends have raised almost £3,000 for St Benedict's Hospice.

The 40-year-old from Silksworth said: “We always talked about doing it for a number of years and decided that we would do it while raising money for St Benedict’s Hospice.

"After talking about it, we set the date, starting to organise hotels, routes, supplies etc. and put training in place to prepare for the challenge.

"We have family connections to the hospice and they do amazing work so it was all for a worthy cause."

From left: Barry Haley, Mick Hooper and Michael Fletcher at the finish line in John O'Groats.

He added: “The hills throughout Cornwall and Devon were the worst part however on the first two days, the weather was really sunny.

"Then for about three or four days it just rained constantly which affected the atmosphere, it was a bit demoralising but we just kept looking forward to the warm hotel at the end of the day.

"Eventually we got used to a pace that we were comfortable with and adapted our ride to the point where we were able to take breaks and enjoy the scenery as we wanted to make the most of the challenge.”

An online fundraiser was set up and Michael ran a LEJOG (Lands End to John O’Groats) blog to document their progress and describe the feeling of when they finished the challenge.

“It was just such a great feeling inside when we reached John O’Groats, like a massive sense of achievement”, Michael commented.

"We had been riding for 13 days and there was a sense of relief that we had made it to the end.

"There was also a small welcome party waiting for us when we arrived back home, it was just a great experience.”

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