Coventry HospiceFundraising News
Craig Sturmey Lands' End to John O'Groats
Published date: 22 May 2018 by Marc Dwyer
I caught up with Craig Sturmey this week who is riding from Lands end to John O'Groats on the 12th June in what is one of the most iconic routes in challenge cycling. Craig has done a fantastic job with his fundraising so far and is nearly at his £1900 target sitiing at £1856.
Hi Craig why are you doing the challenge?
After the Pedal to Paris ride last year I wanted to take on something bigger. And 12 days riding nearly 1,000 miles will be quite the challenge!
Why did you choose Zoe’s Place?
I wanted to raise money for a local charity. My previous and current employer have raised money for Zoe’s Place before and I’ve learned about the fantastic work they do. Their efforts really make a difference to the children and their families.
Which events have you done before?
Last year I rode from London to Paris and that was brilliant. It was incredibly well organised and I met some great people along the way. Reaching the iconic Arc De Triomphe with the cheers of the Parisienne locals was an awesome experience and quite overwhelming after nearly 300 miles in the saddle.
What events would you like to do in future?
I’ve had a few thoughts but nothing fixed up yet. I do want to enter the Fred Whitton Challenge, one of the most difficult one day rides in the UK with huge hills and over 100 miles through the Lake District. That is on the bucket list. And perhaps something in Europe again. Watch this space.
How is training going? How many miles are you up to?
It started off slowly with nasty weather through the spring but I have been ramping it up lately. The Strava app tells me I have ridden 1,400 miles this year and I will be doing all I can to get in the best shape possible.
Have you thought about giving up when it’s been tough?
Not really. I’ve jumped off the bike when the hills have been too steep but never quit. This will be the toughest thing I have ever done!
How long have you been cycling?
I’ve always enjoyed being out on the various bikes I’ve had from a kid, but seriously got the bug the last two years when I purchased a nice new road bike. I love it!
Any supporters you want to thank in particular?
Everybody that has donated has been great and I am lucky to have such wonderful family and friends that supported last year and again this.
Craig pictured at the meriden monument traditionally known as the centre of England in meriden
How tough do you think the challenge is going to be?
It’s an average of 85 miles a day for 11 days with a short 30 mile sprint on day 12. It will be very tough, but I’m confident the training will pay off.
Any parts of it that you aren’t looking forward to?
Any segments where the slopes get steep. I’m not great on the climbs but it is something I have been working on. We ride over Dartmoor quite early on and Shap Fell is quite a formidable climb before heading into the glens of Scotland.
Any parts of the country you are looking forward to passing through?
Some of the guys have been looking to adapt our route to take in Cheddar Gorge which will offer up some spectacular views. There is also Glencoe in Scotland with magnificent scenery.
What will be going through your mind as your cycling on the route?
Lots of impatient drivers in the UK and with questionable road surfaces you need to stay focused. I’ll be getting to know my companions and trying to have a little fun.
Is there anything special your taking in the kit list?
The chamois cream is a life saver when the bum starts to get sore. And my Zoe’s Place jersey will have pride of place of course!
How do you plan on celebrating?
I might have a couple of fruity ciders. And a long bath, if our Premier Inn can accommodate that.
Any tips for anyone thinking of doing the challenge in future?
Train hard and get the best bike you can afford, the lighter the better if you are taking on some hilly terrain.
Craig embarks on his 13 day Lands' End to John O'Groats cycle challenge on June 12th covering nearly 1000 miles through some of the UK's most stunning and remote countryside in what will be a test of physical and mental character. If you would like to help him reach his target please donate via his JustGiving page by clicking here
If you would like to take on an epic challenge for Zoe's Place contact our challenge events team now firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02476939520
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