Rob & Ian's Beat The Border

Earlier this year, keen cyclists Professor Robert Copeland and Ian Brookes - colleagues at Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) - set themselves the Beat The Border challenge of cycling 750km in just three days to support Yorkshire Cancer Research.

The AWRC are dedicated to improving health and wellbeing through movement, and had recently announced a new collaborative physical activity programme with YCR to support thousands of people across South Yorkshire with cancer to prepare for and respond to treatment.

When YCR announced the Tour de Walkshire campaign, the pair thought it was a great opportunity to help raise funds for the charity so that they can continue to help fund projects that prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

“We are honoured to be trusted with this project and are very grateful to Yorkshire Cancer Research and NHS colleagues for the support. The evidence suggests that undergoing cancer treatment is akin to running a marathon and so there is a real synergy between the vision and mission of the AWRC - to transform lives through innovations that help people move - and what we are trying to do with this project to support people with a cancer diagnosis. It's what the AWRC was set-up to do.”

Prior to taking on this epic challenge, the furthest either of the pair had ever ridden was just over 100miles in one go. Each day started and ended at the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre in Sheffield with the riders travelling to Whitby and back on the first day, covering a total of 200 miles, Ripon and back on day two (calling in at the Yorkshire Cancer Research offices in Harrogate on the 150 mile route), and a hilly 100 miles to Halifax and back via Holmfirth on the final day.

Ahead of the challenge Rob said:

“It is madness and we will suffer BUT - it will be nothing compared to what people have to go through when they receive a cancer diagnosis. No matter how sore our backsides, or fatigued our legs, we can choose to stop and it will stop. People with a cancer diagnosis don’t have that luxury and so we will give it all we can to show our support by attempting to complete this challenge.”

Rob and Ian were supported by a number of organisations during their epic challenge including Cycling Sheffield, Mamnick, Sheffrec Cycling Club, Bolsover and District Cycling Club and Veloviewer - and the pair raised over double their fundraising target for the cause.

Please visit their challenge page here.

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