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61-year-old to take on huge cycling challenge for charity

Colin Beresford is planning to take on the almighty challenge of cycling the climb of Mount Everest in just 20 hours on a Peak District hill this summer, all to raise money for The Children’s Hospital Charity.

While cycling in the Peak District may sound relaxing, this challenge will be far from it. The gruelling undertaking was inspired by the exploits of someone almost 40 years younger and follows more than three months of shielding.

Colin, from Sheffield, explains: “The coronavirus pandemic scuppered my original plans this year to cycle across the country. I’ve been shielding since March with an inflammatory disease called ankylosing spondylitis and I’d been thinking about what I could do instead.

“While cycling one weekend, I saw a 22-year-old complete the Everest Cycling Challenge on Fiddlers Elbow, a local hill in the Peak District close to my home and it really inspired me.

“At almost three times his age at 61 and with my creaking body, I am aware I may well fail but not before I’ve given it everything I’ve got.”

The Everest Challenge involves riding a bike up the equivalent height of Mount Everest, some 8,848m or 29,029ft. To meet the climb required, Colin will need to ride up and down the hill 52 times and cover 285km in total.

He hopes the challenge will take around 20 hours to complete on Saturday 29th August.

Colin continued: “That time may be ambitious, it took 17 hours for my young inspiration to finish it! Weather permitting, I’m hoping to start at around 3am and finish between 10pm and midnight. I can assure you I won’t be setting any speed records.”

The audacious challenge represents just the latest opportunity to give back to a cause close to Colin’s heart. Under his leadership, local firm Robson Handling Technology Ltd have raised around £5,000 for The Children’s Hospital Charity in the past two years, through workplace fundraising and supporting the snowflake appeal for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Colin added: “Both my children, Matthew and Charlotte, have needed Sheffield Children’s Hospital with various injuries and ailments in the past, but thankfully nothing too serious.

“Charities have suffered tremendously during the pandemic. People have feared for their jobs, their health and their wellbeing. I have lived in Sheffield all my life, so I am proud to be able to support a local cause in The Children’s Hospital Charity during its time of need.”

After a little more than a week of fundraising, Colin has already raised more than £800 of his £1,000 target, which will support The Children’s Hospital Charity’s COVID-19 appeal.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far and I really hope to be able to beat my fundraising target. Please support me and the hospital if you can.”

Sophie Coburn, Corporate Partnerships Officer at The Children’s Hospital Charity added: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Colin for taking on such a bold challenge! Like so many others, our charity has felt the impact of cancelled events across the community, but we’re doing all we can to support the amazing work of the staff at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

“With so many events cancelled, The Children's Hospital Charity has seen a drop in its income - which impacts how much we can give to support the hospital. However, thanks to the support of people like Colin, we can continue to help Sheffield Children's by providing specialist equipment and creating environments that are above the NHS standard."

To support Colin’s challenge, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Colin-Beresford4

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