Lads gear up for 10,000 mile rally challenge

Ben Kerridge and Aidan Strathearn.
Ben Kerridge and Aidan Strathearn.

TWO former Bell Baxter High School pupils are revving up to take on the challenge of a lifetime.

Ben Kerridge and Aidan Strathearn, both 19, will be taking part in the infamous Mongol Rally this month.

The gruelling event sees participants embark on a 10,000-mile charity road trip from the UK to the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, crossing three mountain ranges and two deserts along the way.

Not only that, but they have to do it in what organisers describe as ‘a car your granny would be embarrassed by’.

Ben and Aidan, from Chance Inn and Ceres respectively, have chosen a 1.3-litre Kia Rio to take them from Goodwood in Sussex to Eastern Asia via France, Germany, Hungary, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia and several other countries in between.

The duo will be accompanied by their fellow Glasgow University student Robert Young from Ayrshire.

Ahead of the team’s departure on July 14, Ben told the Fife Herald: “After we agreed to sign up for the trip late last year during a night in the Students’ Union, we felt pretty relaxed about the whole thing.

“But reality is now hitting home as we keep thinking of more and more things to organise.

“We are excited, but also slightly scared as we have no idea of the challenges that may lie ahead.

“We are taking lots of car spares with us and will be keeping everything crossed that we have what we need with us for any roadside repairs.”

Ben went on: “We expect to take up to six weeks and then we’ll head for home via the Trans-Siberian Railway — chicken class — before flying back to Heathrow via Moscow.

“We will mostly be wild camping on our trip and are trying to prepare for the worst — vast areas aren’t populated and don’t have roads.”

Ben and Aidan have received plenty of support from Fife businesses for the rally, including U-Pull-It breakers yard in Inverkeithing, D&A Motor Factors, John S Don blacksmiths in Newport, SignFX in Cupar, Related Fluid Power and IMS, as well as Trotters Opticians in Edinburgh.

This year the Mongol Rally is raising money for for its official charity the Lotus Children’s Centre Charitable Trust.

Ben and Aidan’s team have also decided to donate a proportion of their sponsorship money to St Vincent’s Hospice in Johnstone and the Alzheimer’s Society.

They can be sponsored online at www.justgiving.com/teams/pbbst or goo.gl/7LbPp