Mick Denton’s annual charity challenge for Martin House Children’s Hospice has added poignancy this year.
The Todmorden fundraiser is cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End next month to raise money and awareness of the Wetherby-based hospice, which cared for his niece Evie Mae Thorp, who died aged two after suffering from lung and kidney illnesses.
But Mick will also cycle in memory of his friend Lee Hunter, who was due to accompany him but died last year with heart failure.
“I knew Lee for five or six years from the cycling club,” said Mick. “We’d been out for a ride that night, he got home, and his wife phoned me to say he’d collapsed on the floor. He was fit as a fiddle, which is why it was such a shock.
“He was very outgoing, very family orientated with his three children. Everybody loved him. The other lads knew Lee as well so it will be emotional for us all. His wife is meeting us halfway when we divert to Todmorden.”
Mick also runs marathons and is a member of the Halifax Cyclists Touring Club and the Calderdale Triathlon Club.
“I think the other four lads thought it would be a bit of a holiday at first with the bikes and the sunshine, but it’s dawned on us all now how much of a challenge it will be.
“They won’t be doing it every day with me but we’re all in it together.”
To donate, visit VirginMoneyGiving.com/MickDenton.