‘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
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