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South to north challenge for firefighter cyclists

A team of firefighters from West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service are swapping their fire engines for two wheels as they pedal more than 1,000 from Land’s End to at John O’Groats.


Burgess Hill Watch Manager Shaun Challis and firefighter Scott Cairncross will attempt to cycle the 1,086 miles from Land’s End in Cornwall to Caithness in Scotland at John O’Groats in just 10 days.


They will be joined by firefighter Matt Firmager and firefighter Martin Belford who will be sharing the driving of the support van and cycling half of the distance as well when they set off on Saturday 5 September.


As well as pushing their own levels of personal fitness to the limit, they will be raising money for Kids Cancer Charity and The Fire Fighters Charity.


Shaun said: “Both of these causes carry out phenomenal work to support those people who need them most, and so we want to do everything we can to support this work and allow it to continue. Many charities have been hit incredibly hard during the outbreak of COVID-19, and so anything we can do to help will be very gratefully received.


“The prospect of cycling from Cornwall to Caithness is pretty daunting, but we have all been training hard over the summer in preparation. We are aiming to cover around 100 miles a day and will be looking to call in at as many local fire stations along the way, so hopefully they will have the kettle on!”


Scott added: “Now that we are less than a month away from the starting line, it is starting to sink in a bit more. But the whole point of this fundraiser was to do something that challenged us both mentally and physically. These 1083 miles will certainly tick both of those boxes!”


The team will set off from Land’s End on Saturday 5 September, aiming to be in Bude in North Cornwall by nightfall, before setting off for Taunton the next day. From there they will continue north to Herefordshire, Shropshire and then Cumbria before crossing the border on day six into Dumfriesshire. From there they will head to the east coast to Edinburgh and further north to Ballachulish and Bonar Bridge before finishing in John O’Groats on Monday 14 September.


You can support their fundraising efforts here:

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