‘We are ner­vous about the heat.. that’s one thing you re­ally can’t pre­pare for in this coun­try!’

Char­ity night raises £4000 for Can­cer Cy­cle In­dia chal­lenge

East Kilbride News - - INDIAN ADVENTURE - Ni­cola Find­lay

A dy­namic duo from East Kil­bride bound for the dusty roads of ru­ral In­dia are well on the way to suc­cess af­ter rak­ing in more than £4000 at a char­ity night.

Julie Smith, 58, and Karen Jamieson, 56, both from St Leonards, or­gan­ised a fundraiser re­cently to raise cash for their Women V Can­cer Cy­cle In­dia chal­lenge.

The re­cent event in the Le­gion Scot­land East Kil­bride branch proved to be a roar­ing suc­cess.

With the sup­port of fam­ily, friends and the lo­cal com­mu­nity, the pair have se­cured £4500 for Ovar­ian Can­cer Ac­tion, Breast Can­cer Care and Jo’s Cer­vi­cal Can­cer Trust.

And that’s be­fore the women have even got in the sad­dle for the tough 450 kilo­me­tres ride through ru­ral Ra­jasthan next Novem­ber.

The women will be among a party of 90 from across Bri­tain on the five­day cy­cle, although the trip will be 10 days in to­tal.

It was Julie who first de­cided to get on her bike af­ter see­ing an ad­vert in a mag­a­zine and she then man­aged to per­suade Karen, her friend of more than 30 years, to join her.

They were de­lighted the char­ity night proved such a suc­cess which means they are well on their way to help­ing the three char­i­ties.

Mum-of-three Julie told the News: “We are de­lighted the fundraiser was such a suc­cess.

“The sup­port from not only our fam­ily and friends but from the lo­cal com­mu­nity and busi­nesses was ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic and we would like to thank ev­ery one of them.

“Now Karen and I can start plan­ning the train­ing for the cy­cle it­self.

“We are both re­ally look­ing for­ward to it and are sure it will be a fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence.”

With a rel­a­tive of Julie’s hus­band and a friend of Karen’s hav­ing re­cently come through treat­ment for can­cer, the char­i­ties are close to both the women’s hearts.

How­ever, with Julie ad­mit­ting it has been many a year since she turned a pedal, she ad­mits the chal­lenge won’t be easy.

“While I would say I am gen­er­ally fit and healthy,” she added, “I’d prob­a­bly not been on a bike since I was a young­ster so in that sense it will be tough.

“Karen at least did a char­ity cy­cle from Glasgow to Ed­in­burgh a few years ago so I would say she is ahead of me when it comes to the train­ing and is a bit more pre­pared.

“But two of my other friends, Pauline and Julie, are keen cy­clists and have been such a sup­port do­ing long cy­cles with me on a Satur­day and re­ally chal­leng­ing me on dis­tance.

“I wouldn’t be do­ing this with­out them.”

Julie’s daugh­ters are all keen trav­ellers and have jet­ted off to farflung des­ti­na­tions across the globe which has helped in­spire their mum to do the same.

“I re­ally wanted to push my­self out­with my com­fort zone and my daugh­ters have trav­elled ex­ten­sively so now it’s my turn,” she said.

“But most im­por­tantly, it is for three re­ally worth­while char­i­ties and the whole ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing part of a group of 90 women sup­port­ing each other and in­spir­ing each other to reach their goal will be amaz­ing.

“I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to the ca­ma­raderie, meet­ing new peo­ple and hope­fully mak­ing life­long friend­ships.

“The one thing we are ner­vous about, though, is the heat and hu­mid­ity – that’s one thing you can never pre­pare for train­ing in this coun­try!”

Be­ing part of a group of 90 women sup­port­ing and in­spir­ing each other to reach their goal will be amaz­ing... Julie Smith

World won­der In­dia is home to the Taj Ma­hal. Inset: Julie Smith, left, and Karen Jamieson will cy­cle 450 kilo­me­tres in In­dia

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