Cross country challenge for bikers

Matt Marsden and Andrew Meeks.
Matt Marsden and Andrew Meeks.

Two intrepid mountain bikers are saddling up for a gruelling ‘cross country’ challenge all in the name of charity.

Matt Marsden (31) and Andrew Meeks (36), who both live in the Harle Syke area, set off today on Rat Race: The Crossing – an almost 200-mile journey across three national parks, stretching between two coastlines and featuring 18,000ft of climbing,

Matt, a former Habergham High School pupil, said they were looking forward to the three-day challenge.

“We’re both very keen cyclists and we thought it would be a good challenge for us both to do as well as one to tick off the bucket list.

“It’s the fourth year the event has been held. It’s a fat tyre adventure in stunning scenery with breath-taking views.

“Each national park (Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors) provides its own challenge and we can’t wait to take them on.

“We are under no illusion as to how difficult it is going to be. The training has been going well although we haven’t really done enough if I’m being honest. We spend a lot of time riding around Hurstwood and a number of other local trails but this is going to be something completely different.”

Matt and Andrew, a former Mansfield High School pupil, are raising money for Children with Cancer UK and have set themselves a target of £500 – they are currently around the £400 mark.

Matt said: “When you sign up for the event Rat Race ask if you’re doing it for charity and try pushing for Children with Cancer which was good because we’re both family men.

“Having looked into it, it’s a fantastic charity and hopefully people will help us raise a decent amount for them. It doesn’t matter how small the donation, every little helps.”

Anybody wishing to donate can do so by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/Matthew-Marsden5.