Cyclist dedicates 966 mile fundraiser to sister

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A Harrogate man has cycled the length of the country to raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Research, dedicating the journey to his sister,who underwent cancer treatment.

John Benedict dedicated the 14-day, 966-mile journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats to his sister Ros Johnson, 64, who was recently treated for breast cancer.

The retired bank executive raised £2,250 for the Harrogate-based charity, which funds world-class research and treatment in the region.

John said: “Unfortunately the women on my mother’s side of the family seem to die of cancer. My mother died when she was 50, her mother died from the same illness and so did her sister.

“Recently my sister was diagnosed with the disease, but research has moved on from when my mother died and hopefully Ros is going to be okay. It just shows what a difference research makes.”

John has undertaken a number of challenges for cancer charities over the years, including running marathons and cycling coast-to-coast with friends from the Rotary Club of Harrogate Brigantes, but he was eager to complete the UK’s ultimate cycling challenge. His wife Jean, who he married in August, travelled with him to support his endeavour.

John said: “This year I decided to take on the big one. I cycled an average of 70 miles a day to complete the two-week journey, and felt a huge sense of relief when I finally got to John O’Groats. I only had one bad day really, when huge gusts of wind near Glencoe nearly blew me off my bike, but I still got there.

“It made a huge difference doing it for a charity that you really believe in. Our friends from the rotary club, The Academy Tennis Club and Oakdale Golf Club, plus other friends and family, have been absolutely fantastic in their support.”

A further £200 was given to Yorkshire Yoga and Therapy Centre, to support their work with disabled adults and their classes on living with cancer.

For more information on Yorkshire Cancer Research, please visit www.ycr.org.uk.