Short Story
I’m riding 1,000 miles in 9 days across the length of Britain from Land’s End to John O’Groats to support two very special causes. (Lands End John O Groats Ride Across Britain! LEJOG RAB.)

Long story - The causes and why they are special

Izzy Wilson ‘smile’ Fund
Nearly 12 years ago my eldest son Billy was born in St George’s hospital, Tooting. It was a special time for our family and lots of our friends were also having kids. We were all wrapped up in the excitement of the next chapter. One of those kids was a close friends’ daughter, Isabela, “Izzie,” born just 5 weeks before Billy.

Life accelerated as it does with the ups and downs and taking a lot for granted then, “bang!” Something happens that makes you stop and put everything into perspective. For me, that event was just 11 years later in January 2020, standing at Izzie’s funeral, my eyes streaming and running through a helter-skelter of emotions with many of those same friends as we grieved with Izzie’s family after she’d lost her tough battles with illness.

One of Izzie’s ambitions was to help make other children’s stay in hospital as happy as possible and a share of your sponsorship will be doing that, through the Izzy Wilson smile fund.
https://www.stgeorgeshospitalcharity.org.uk/find-a-fund/izzy-wilson-fund


The Richmond Heavies Foundation Defibrillator Fund
I’ll be riding with a bunch of ex rugby players aiming to save the lives of rugby players who collapse on the pitch, see Danish footballer Christian Eriksen collapse last week in the Euros.

The Defibrillator Fund is an initiative to make a difference in the wider rugby community. The Fund's motto is ‘defibs save lives’, and saved the life of a young visiting player at Richmond rugby recently through the availability of a defibrillator and someone trained in its use. The Fund's mission is simple: we want all rugby clubs to offer the safest environment possible for players, volunteers and supporters and the availability of a functioning defibrillator plays an important role in this.

The challenge
Lands End to John O’Groats in 9 days, starting September 4th. It’s a thousand miles in distance - around 110 miles (175km) a day - and the elevation is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest twice. Not trivial, we’ll be getting our overnight rest in tents!!

I’ve always loved cycling but the training for this has been a real step up. I’ve been lucky, riding and training with a load of new friends in the real world who’ve pushed, encouraged and carried me on longer and longer rides. Just as fun is the Camaraderie and banter I've had with my virtual friends (Quote the kids, "never talk to strangers online!!"), fellow RABers who I’ve met online cycling on Zwift. The Camaraderie and banter I have with the Minions and other Zwifters has been brilliant, I can’t wait to meet them in the flesh come September and see what they really look like!

So whilst I think I’ve done the miles it’s been in sunny Spain or in my basement. I’ve no doubt the wind and the rain of a British Autumn will test my resolve and the thought of the worthy causes I’m riding for will be the motivating factor to get up that next hill whilst the sleet tries to blow me back down.

The fundraising
Personally, my fund-raising target is £10,000 - sufficient to pay for several defibrillators and help a few poorly children smile.

To raise this money, I would like to sell off each of the 980 (s)miles of this gruelling journey at £5 a mile.

Please support me by buying a piece of my journey. It may be where you are from, a favourite area, or just somewhere with a steep hill! If you let me know in your comments, I will be thinking of you at that time.

I do appreciate that people get a lot of sponsorship requests so please do support me if you can, every pound is hugely appreciated.

Many Thanks!

Kevin

PS If you are interested in the route, it can be found here: https://www.rideacrossbritain.com/route/classic-9-day/

Kevin McGovern