Sponsor my brother for cancer awareness

by Andy Polaine on September 9, 2008

in General

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Matt (insanely) cycling up Mont Ventoux, Bedoin in 2hrs 13mins

My brother, Matt, beat cancer back in 1996 and is, thankfully, still with us.

On the 26th July 2009 he’ll be taking part in the UK’s toughest cycling endurance event (open to the public), and the third toughest in the world, the LEL 2009.

LEL stands for ‘London to Edinburgh to London’ and is the premier Audax UK Event, held every four years. The aim is to cycle the 1,400km within 120 hours. To do the event will require 280Km of cycling everyday, for five days, including through the night and with minimal support.

The aim is to raise more than £1,400 – at least £1 per kilometre – for the charity, Orchid, which is the only UK registered cancer charity to focus entirely on the male-specific cancers. Male cancers don’t get that much press attention and men don’t discuss testicular, prostate or penile cancer too easily either. Orchid aims to help raise awareness of these cancers that are more prevalent than you might think (1 in 14 men are at risk of prostate cancer in the UK and one man dies from it every hour, for example).

If, like me, the idea of even cycling one-way to Edinburgh fills your body with horror, let alone cycling back again, at least you can make the effort with your fingers and sponsor Matt online.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Matt Polaine September 15, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Great stuff, thanks Andy! I should add that 500 other riders from all over the world will be entering this. It is limited to 500 riders as the organisation is still run on an amateur basis, but this maybe the last time it is run this way. About 280km a day of riding is required.

The French equivalent, the Paris Brest Paris (PBP) is currently limited to 5,000 riders, but this is ‘only’ 1,200km and doesn’t include the Scottish hills or the Peak District. About 220km a day.

The really big one, the Race Across America (RAAM)has only 250 riders but covers 4,828km. The record is 8 days 9 hours and 47 minutes. About 530km a day.

RAAM is truly insane, and is so tough even the crew members drop out. Unlike PBP and LEL which has only control points and one or two ‘bag drops’, RAAM has rider support, usually in a following motorhome equipped with masseuse, medical equipment, shower, change of clothes etc.

After about 2,000km the riders go a bit insane, have no idea where they are, and practically slip into a coma for three days at the end. Though few make it to the end.

I think 1,400km in five days is enough for me.

I may never cycle again :-)

2 Andy Polaine September 15, 2008 at 6:46 pm

“After about 2,000km the riders go a bit insane, have no idea where they are, and practically slip into a coma for three days at the end. Though few make it to the end.”

Sounds like a great laugh. There are drugs that are less effort you know… :-)

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