A GROUP of cyclists are taking on a gruelling endurance challenge by riding from John O’Groats to Lands End in memory of a pal who died from a brain tumour.
Mark Cheetham, Chris Holmes, Miles Drew, Ian Fretwell, Mark Hendricks, Matthew McDermott, Brendan McNallen and Phil Pearson are tackling the 1,000-mile route to raise awareness and money for cancer charity Brain Tumour UK.
The fundraiser is in honour of Lee Wilkinson - known as Leeroy to his friends - who died in 2009 aged 37 after a three-year fight with an aggressive type of brain tumour.
Lee was originally from Sutton but later moved to Mansfield. He left behind wife Jo and two children.
The group are hoping to raise £5,000 for Brain Tumour UK - the chosen charity of Lee and his family - and make more people aware of the charity and the disease.
Mark (43), of Southwell Road West, Mansfield, said: “The fact is that the majority of people who get the type of brain tumour that Lee got, it does have an inevitable ending within a set time frame.
“The prognosis for something that aggressive is only two to three years.”
Chris was a very close friend of Lee’s and had known him for more than 20 years.
After Lee died, Chris, of Heather Close in Broadmeadows, South Normanton, and formerly of Kirkby, said he wanted to do some fundraising in his friend’s memory every year.
He has helped raise nearly £5,000 for Brain Tumour UK so far, completing an Ironman triathlon last year and now managing to get a group together to take on the mammoth bike ride.
Chris (39) said that Lee loved life, loved his family and lived every day as it came.
“He left a big gap and that’s why we wanted to keep his name alive and try and do something good in his name,” he said.
Mark was a novice cyclist when the decision to cycle the length of the country was made and has been training hard to get up to the standard required.
He added: “I don’t know if I am looking forward to it!
“I was, but trying to fit the training in has been very difficult, but I am keen to complete the task.”
The bike ride starts on 20th August and will take the group nine days.
Anyone who wants to sponsor them can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/jogle-for-BTUK.