Eight golfers biked 86 miles to play 16 dif­fer­ent cour­ses in a day... and raised £20,000 do­ing it

Today's Golfer (UK) - - First Tee -

If you thought your round at the week­end was a test of en­durance, try cy­cling 86 miles across four coun­ties to play 18 holes at 16 dif­fer­ent cour­ses. That’s what eight pals from Cam­bridge did last month, as they em­barked on a marathon golf and cy­cling chal­lenge to raise £20,000.

The char­ity event, aptly named the Rider Cup, be­gan at the crack of dawn at King­fisher Hill Golf Club and ended at St Neots Golf Club at 9.05pm – more than 16 hours af­ter the first shot was hit. Between then, the group played at 14 other cour­ses across Northamp­ton­shire, Buck­ing­hamshire, Bed­ford­shire and Cam­bridgeshire, burn­ing 5,700 calo­ries each. That’s the equiv­a­lent of run­ning just over two marathons or eat­ing 22 Mcdon­ald’s cheese­burg­ers!

The brains be­hind the chal­lenge was Ray Cooper, who saw his brother-in-law Chris Brown lose his fight with Mo­tor Neu­rone Dis­ease in De­cem­ber 2016, aged just 56.

Cooper said: “I love my golf and I read on the To­day’s Golfer web­site that more peo­ple are mov­ing from golf to cy­cling. That got me think­ing – is there a way to mix the two and raise money for char­ity? That’s where the idea of cy­cling between clubs came from and although I ini­ti­ated it, it was a real team ef­fort from ev­ery­one to get it off the ground.

“The first time I got on my bike I fell off, but I trained prop­erly af­ter Christ­mas, racked up 500 miles and I lost just over a stone-and-ahalf. I still found it re­ally dif­fi­cult on the day – I’ve never eaten so much food in my life – but the re­sponse we re­ceived when we got to St Neots made it all worth­while. I thought if we could raise £10,000, that would be amaz­ing. So, to raise nearly dou­ble that has ab­so­lutely blown me away.”

The group have man­aged to raise more than £19,000; 80 per cent of which will be do­nated to MNDA and the rest to Sue Ry­der, St Johns Hospice. To pledge your sup­port, visit rid­er­

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