After donating to Cancer Research UK for years, a Cupar cyclist took to his bike to see if he could raise even more by pedalling the length of the country.
Kieran Timmons (49) was motivated to cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats after hearing the call of his advancing years.
He said: “I turn 50 next year and I really wanted to do something challenging and my body clock is starting to tick so what better time?”
The charity cycle also has a more poignant significance. Kieran lost his brother Alan to cancer in 1990 and he wanted to raise money for Cancer Research UK in his memory. The brothers grew up in Cupar and attended St Columba’s Primary School and Bell Baxter High School.
“Having lost my brother Alan to melanoma skin cancer, I’ve had a niggle for more than half my life that I should have done more to try and make a difference in this regard. So I thought what better way to challenge myself than taking on this physical and mental challenge.”
Kieran has been a keen cyclist for five years and gradually built up his training to tackle the 972 mile journey. “It is all about getting the miles in the legs,” he said.
“I now live in Scotlandwell and work in Edinburgh so I started commuting once, then twice then three times a week.”
The cycle took in a staggering climb of 35,000ft, which is the equivalent of cycling to the top of East Lomond 23 times. Kieran admitted that deciding to take on the challenge meant he had to give up a lot but the support and help from his wife and daughter made it possible.
“Doing this type of challenge is life changing. But it is worth it.”
The long stretches, ranging between 100 and 126 miles, gave Kieran plenty of time to think. “Your mind is clear and so you have the chance to think about work, how bad your football team is doing.
“It is also a brilliant opportunity to learn about your fellow cyclists – it is very social and when you cycle in a group you take the opportunity to speak to everybody.”
As well as the experience, Kieran was blown away by the amount of money he has been able to raise, with a total over £9000.
“When you stop and think about that amount it is really quite humbling,” Kieran admitted. “You think, ‘wow this is massive’ and in particular it is the sponsorship that comes from avenues that you don’t expect that is the real motivator.”
He was welcomed over the finish line by Alan Timmons (snr), Chrissie Timmons, Jackie Timmons, Louise Timmons, Nicola Timmons, Audrey Gibb and John Gibb. To sponsor Kieran or make a donation to Cancer Research UK, visit virgin money giving page and search Kieran Timmons.