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