Wakefield Triathlon members go from Lands’ End to John O’Groats in big fundraising effort
In 2021 seven members of Wakefield Triathlon club set out to raise money for Wakefield Hospice by cycling between Lands’ End and John O’Groats in just over a week.
Starting at 7.30am on Saturday, June 26, the ‘LEJOG’ challenge saw Scouse Dumont, Adam Foster, Patrick Heptinstall, Chris Harris, Dale Crowther, Karl-Eric Devaux and Graham Ward-Thompson get on their bikes in Land’s End and barely get off them again until they arrived in John O’Groats at 5pm on Sunday, July 4.
In total they cycled 967 miles, climbed 59,130ft and had been in the saddle for 65 hours, raising an impressive £20,006.01 for Wakefield Hospice.
They were supported by a small but very able crew of three with Iain Foster keeping them safe as outrider on his motorbike and Bev Dumont and Cath Heptinstall carrying supplies, setting up feed stations and even singing ‘The Locomotion’ in an effort to keep the lads’ spirits up (or make them cycle away as fast as possible).
The challenge was extremely tough with some tricky cycling conditions, especially due to the ever-changing great British weather and some serious hills with the 20% climbs to Aviemore causing some sore legs.
There was also a few punctures along the way (mostly Dale’s) and one or two falls. The riders were buoyed on by friends, family and members of the triathlon club through their Facebook Page, which was kept updated throughout by Bev.
They even had a number of guest appearances, with fellow riders turning up along the route to tackle a section and boost spirits as well as the club’s star baker Mel Wass, who not only provided cakes for a feed station, but spent the year baking and selling cakes at club events and training sessions, raising £2,500 of the overall total. The final amount raised was £20,000 and the money was presented formally to the hospice last week.
Graham Ward-Thompson, LEJOG team member and club chairman said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the donations received and the messages of support that came flooding in on social media definitely kept us going during the challenge.
“We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who cheered us on and an even bigger one to the great support crew who kept us fuelled and safe throughout the ride.”
Helen Knowles, director of Income Generation at Wakefield Hospice, said: “It was a difficult challenge, we are so proud of them and grateful for their support.
“Money is vital to our survival at the moment so any fund-raising is such a significant help to the hospice, especially the amount the chaps have raised.
“Their aim was to raise £11,500, the daily running cost of the hospice, which they have absolutely smashed.”