A 62-year-old man has completed his epic cycling feat for national charity Dementia UK, taking on 100 of the UK’s toughest hills in just 12 days.
Sponsored by Sanctuary Care, Richard Burt hit the nation’s most toughest and iconic cycling climbs during August in honour of his mum Peggy, who is currently living with dementia in Sanctuary’s Redhill Court Residential Care Home.
Hoping to raise £50,000 for the national charity, Richard and his team, travelled day and night for 12 consecutive days, with many involving over 13 solid hours of cycling and travelling, when they took on Simon Warren’s book 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs.
Richard said: “Simon Warren’s account of the climbs really inspired me. Before the challenge I was filled with trepidation. I’ve done some tough endurance challenges before and every one of them has been very different so I was conscious that I wouldn’t find out exactly how tough this one was until I did it.”
Cycling across the UK
On Thursday 18 August at 8am sharp, Richard started on Dover’s Hill in Gloucestershire, where the cycling team then travelled through Bristol, Devon, Wales, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland, before travelling down to Surrey via Cumbria, Lancashire, the Midlands and Berkshire.
The incredible journey took Richard to many well-known favourites from Holme Moss in Holmfirth to Bwlch-y-Groes in Wales, before finishing on Box Hill, where the 2012 Olympic Road Race took place.
Commenting on the challenge, Richard said: “Each area had its own special character and memories. From the rain in Wales, the traffic in the West Country and the wind on the first stormy Saturday that stopped us opening the car door at the summit of Bwlch-y-Groes, to the sunshine on my back as we stormed up Horseshoe Pass in Denbighshire on a perfect day - we had it all in the challenge.”
£50,000 for Dementia UK
Supported by Sanctuary Care, Richard hopes to raise £50,000 for the national dementia charity on behalf of his dear mum Peggy, who has had Alzheimer’s for the past six years and is living with dementia in a Sanctuary Care home in Birmingham.
Richard continued: “My body is deeply tired in a way that only those who have done marathon endurance events can appreciate, but it's been a privilege and I wouldn’t do it for any other cause, it’s wonderful to know every penny raised is going towards improving dementia services."
Sanctuary Care couldn’t be prouder
As a main sponsor, Sanctuary Care – part of Sanctuary Group – made Richard’s cycle-a-thon mission a reality by donating much-needed funds and providing Richard and his team of volunteers with a branded kit, as well as encouraging their portfolio of 69 care homes to raise funds up and down the country.
Sanctuary Care’s Managing Director Mark McCarthy, who showed his support in person at Dover’s Hill on the first day of the climb, said: “Richard and his team pushed themselves to the absolute limit during their fundraising mission for Dementia UK. He really is an inspiration to everyone at Sanctuary Care and we couldn’t be prouder of him – well done Richard!”