FORMER Montrosian Gordon Phillips has raised £2,210 for cancer support charity CLAN by completing one of the country’s toughest cycle rides.
Gordon, who now lives in Laurencekirk, recently completed the Lands End to John o’Groats run after 14 days on the road and presented his cheque to the charity during a visit to its Aberdeen facilities last week.
Although he has undertaken cycling challenges before, including a coast to coast run a few years ago, Gordon said he had perhaps “underestimated” how tough the trip would be although he had found it ultimately satisfying.
He said: “I was walking like John Wayne for a while afterwards, but it’s something I’d wanted to do for ages to just decided to go for it.
“I hadn’t originally intended to do it as a fund-raiser, just for the physical challenge, but I’ve a couple of close friends who used CLAN’s services which is how I found out about them. They gave the families phenomenal support so it was a bit of a ‘no brainer’ to try to raise money for them.
“The whole thing was a great experience although on days when I had a bit of pain it made me realise there was no room for complaint compared to what my friends went through.”
Averaging between 70 and 80 miles a day, Gordon cycled the route as part of a group of 25 and, apart from three days when the weather turned bad, enjoyed largely favourable conditions. The hardest part of the journey, he said, was an early stretch through Cornwall and Devon.
He said: “Devon and Cornwall are so hilly and the second day on Dartmoor was brutal. It was then I realised what I was undertaking. It’s bleak, it was tipping down with rain, brutal hills, strong headwinds and cattle grids. Glen Coe was pretty challenging too and the places where we’d expected bad weather, it usually was.
“I couldn’t believe what I raised and when people found what I was fund-raising for they just chucked money at me, the support has been fantastic.”