100 mile bike ride in honour of Ivy-Louise

Little Ivy-Louise Gawthorpe
Little Ivy-Louise Gawthorpe

Battling torrential rain, heavy winds and a broken bike were just some of the odds facing a pair of cyclists as they rode from Castleford to Blackpool in support of Ivy-Louise Gawthorpe.

Mark Jackson, 52, and Matthew Parrish, 30, completed the 100 mile bike ride in 14 hours, arriving in Blackpool just in time to enjoy a well-deserved pint.

Matthew Parrish and Mark Johnson cycled from Castleford to Blackpool.

Matthew Parrish and Mark Johnson cycled from Castleford to Blackpool.

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Matthew said: “It was a challenge, it was the hardest thing I’ll ever do but I’m proud to have done it.

“It was all country roads, we were going higher and higher and up and up.

“It was a bit of a challenge and it ended up being about 100 miles. Mark’s bike broke, he had a storage rack on the back and that snapped and I had to carry it in my rucksack, it was heavy.”

Matthew, from Castleford, and Mark, who lives in Normanton, set off from the Millennium Bridge in Castleford at four in the morning. Their route took them through Bingley, Shipley and Blackburn before they arrived in Blackpool for 6pm on Friday, August 17.

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Gary Tweedy, who works with the men at the town’s Argos distribution centre, said: “They’ve had a few naysayers saying ‘You’ll never do it,’ but I dare say they’ve proved everybody wrong.”

Some of the money raised will go to TADS Barnsley, a charity focused on the mental wellbeing of young people, while the rest will go towards supporting one-year-old Ivy-Louise, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.

Neuroblastoma is a particularly aggressive form of childhood cancer, and Ivy-Louise’s parents, Kerri-Lee and Jamie, are hoping to raise £200,000 to pay for their daughter to take part in a vaccine trial in the US.

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Though Matthew and Mark have never met the Gawthorpe family, they were moved after hearing their story and wanted to help. To donate to Matthew and Mark’s cause, visit www.justigiving.com and search for “Matty Parrish.”