Two friends set themselves a special target for a cycling challenge they will never forget.
Christian Mathiesen (41) cycled 260 miles from Darlington to St Alban’s on Summer Solstice Day last month to raise almost £2,000 for the ME Association – accompanied by best pal Richard Witter.
They set out at sunrise shortly after 4am in the hope that they would be home by sunset. “Last year we’d cycled all the way to Newcastle and really wanted to get back there again.
“But the distance from Newcastle to St Alban's is 310 miles – just too far away to be able to give any sort of guarantee that they’d get home before sunset. 260 miles was much closer to our level of ability.”
They nicknamed their ride ‘The Sufferfest”.
Friends and family were able to follow every inch of their route in detail as soon as they had posted a link to Richard’s Garmin tracker on their JustGiving page.
“The last 50 miles were the worst”, said Christian. “I just watched my little cycle computer, followed its instructions and kept pedalling. I honestly have no recollection of anything along the route towards the end – except the point where another friend joined us at Bedford.”
But home they made it – with time to spare and well before sunset. Shortly after 9pm, they cycled into a welcome party of friends and family at ‘The Boot’ pub near St Alban’s Clocktower .
Richard, from Berkhamsted, cycled to raise money for the Hertfordshire Wildlife Trust.
Christian is a super-fit father-of-two, who has played sport all his life. He’s been inspired to raise money for the MEA by his mother, Lilly, who’s been sick with M.E. for the last 12 years.
“She never complains and takes it all stoically but she’s been very poorly. Since her diagnosis, there’s just hasn’t been much help available.”
“Done and dusted!,” he posted on JustGiving. “Seventeen hours, one fall, one wasp sting. Won’t be trying that again. Love you mum…”
Christian’s fundraising page is still open. If you would like to support it, please visit the link below
For people with ME/CFS who are thinking about taking on a physical fundraising challenge, or if you are organising an event that might involve people with ME/CFS, please read this notice from Neil Riley, Chairman of the ME Association.