Friends raise £2,000 in memory of loved ones

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A WORTHING man who completed a charity cycling challenge in memory of his wife says he was overcome with emotion throughout the experience.

Colin Clegg, 42, of Silver Birch Drive, started the journey from Lands End to John O’Groats on September 12 alongside his childhood friend Ashley Belton, from Horsham.

The pair completed the 1,000 mile cycle in eleven-and-a-half days, finishing on Saturday, and have to date raised £2,200.

Their longest day on the saddle was just short of 12 hours, when they covered 111 miles.

Mr Clegg, an IT engineer, wanted to raise money for Cancer Research UK in memory of his first wife Lucy who lost her long and courageous battle

at the age of 32.

He said: “She died of a brain tumour in 2005 having fought it for ten or 11 years. Lucy underwent several operations and had chemotherapy.

“Cancer affects so many people and the thing that really struck me throughout our journey was the number of people who saw our Cancer Research tops and stopped us to ask what we were doing and then gave money. We also had donations from the B&Bs that we were staying at. It was amazing.”

The cause is also close to Mr Belton’s heart as his wife Fran had thyroid cancer four years ago which was successfully treated. The family have also lost two close firends to the disease.

Mr Clegg, who has lost four stone since he started training for the challenge last year, said that the reality was harder than he imagined.

“I had done a lot of training beforehand including gym work and running the Brighton Marathon in April before switching to the bike, but it was soon clear that I should have done more,” he said.

“The first three days until we got past Bristol were pretty much sheer hell. It was raining and very cold which made things difficult, and all that kept us going was thinking about what we were doing it for and thinking about all the people that were rooting for us.

“Stopping was not an option, it was about finding a way to get through it. It was such a sense of achievement when we finished, and cycling the last stages together was brilliant. We threw our arms in the air at the end.

“I was very emotional as it brings back all the memories relating to why you are doing it.

“We are over the moon with the amount that we have raised as our aim was for £750 and we thought that was a lot. Everyone has been so generous.

“We have said that in ten years time we might do the reverse route but for now our bodies are trying to recover.”

To donate go to www.justgiving.com/Ashley-and-Colin-LeJoG/