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Cyclist gets on bike for Three Peaks

PUBLISHED: 10:55 23 September 2009 | UPDATED: 08:33 01 August 2010

A SOUTH Norfolk man has given himself an added twist to the energy-sapping Three Peaks challenge in a bid to boost sponsorship.

Even the fittest of people would feel daunted by the feat of endurance in its usual form, which involves climbing the three highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland.

A SOUTH Norfolk man has given himself an added twist to the energy-sapping Three Peaks challenge in a bid to boost sponsorship.

Even the fittest of people would feel daunted by the feat of endurance in its usual form, which involves climbing the three highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland.

But Neil Russell, from Loddon, is also going to cycle between each of the mountains, and aims to complete the entire feat in under three days.

Undertaking the challenge with him will be his nephew Tom, from Cheshire, and his brother Ray, who will act as the support driver and join the pair on the climbs.

“The idea came from thinking of something different to do, something a bit unusual,” said Mr Russell. “A lot of people do the Three Peaks in 24 hours with the aid of a car and support driver. I wanted it to be a bit more crazy.”

He said the reaction from family and friends had been good, adding: “They think I'm mad but they're very supportive.”

The pair will first walk to the top of Snowdon, where the clock will start ticking, and cycle to Cumbria to scale Scafell before riding on to head for the summit of Ben Nevis, where the clock will stop.

Mr Russell, 38, is aiming to raise £10,000 for multiple sclerosis charities after his sister-in-law showed some symptoms of the condition and is a “wait and see” case, meaning she may or may not develop the condition.

Mr Russell said he also wanted to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis. “I think there are probably a lot more people out there who have got it who don't know,” he said. “A few years ago they didn't really know the symptoms so well. It's about making people aware.”

Half of the proceeds will go towards the UK MS Society, with the other 50pc going to the charity's Norwich branch.

According to the MS Society, the condition affects about 100,000 people in the UK. Symptoms are varied and can include fatigue, problems with vision, difficulties with balance and numbness.

Hoping to boost sponsorship with a promotional stand at the Castle Mall in Norwich on November 14 and the Forum on January 16, Mr Russell and Tom, 20, will perform a training session on static bikes.

Preparing to undertake the challenge next July, Mr Russell admits winter training could prove testing when he has to swap his road bike for a static bike trainer in the garage.

His wife Tanya and sons George, four, and Oliver, 20 months, are also having to get used to a new daily routine, which sees him get up regularly at 5am for training rides, and sometimes cycling the 17 miles to work at a motor vehicle consultancy in Kessingland.

Anyone able to donate money or help Mr Russell with equipment for the challenge can visit www.justgiving.com/neilrussell or call him on 07747 703879.

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