Joiner’s double bike challenge

Chris Barnes
Chris Barnes

A JOINER from Holme-on-Spalding Moor is gearing himself up to take on two cycling and marathon challenges later this year, for charity.

Chris Barnes will be cycling 100 miles from York to Newcastle to take part in the Great North Run on 18 September and then cycling all the way back.

A month later he will cycle 260 miles to Portsmouth from York to compete in the Great South Run which takes place on 30 October. He will again cycle all the way home.

In total, he will have to cycle 760 miles and run 22 miles.

The 32-year-old decided to take on the gruelling challenges to raise money for two different charities- Help for Heroes and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

He said: “To make it more interesting I’m cycling to and from each event.

“It started off as a wild idea just to try and get fit. I was just going to do the Great North Run but I thought I might as well do it for charity.

“When I decided to do it for charity I decided to do the south run as well.”

Mr Barnes will set off to Newcastle the day before the Great North Run and will cycle home the day after. He will set off for the Great South Run two days before the event and stop off at Northampton in between. It will take him another two days to cycle back.

Mr Barnes said: “I am looking forward to it but I’m not looking forward to it afterwards. I’ve never done anything like this before. I did 5,000 miles on an exercise bike last year, doing 100 miles a week. But I’ve never done anything outdoors. Nothing apart from football, since school.”

Mr Barnes has already started training for the two challenges by running or cycling long distances every day.

He said: “I am already in the process of training. On days when the weather is bad I go on the exercise bike and do 20 or 30 miles a day.

“I’m on a training programme to work my way up to do the Great North Run doing three or four miles running a day.”

Help for Heroes and Guide Dogs for the Blind are two charities for whom Mr Barnes has great admiration, which is why he wants to raise as much money as he can for them.

He said: “I knew somebody who died a couple of years ago and when he died he donated all his money to Help for Heroes. It brought my attention to Help for Heroes and I think it’s a fantastic charity.”

He added: “I am a dog person. I have three dogs myself. The help they do for blind people is great which is why I’m supporting the Guide Dogs charity.”

Anyone who would like to donate to the two charities and support Mr Barnes can do so by visiting http://virginmoneygiving.com/cycletorun.