Couple set their sights on coast-to-coast tandem bike ride to raise funds for St Ann’s Hospice

Megan and Mark Whittaker are taking on a coast-to-coast challenge in tandem to raise money for St Ann’s Hospice.

The couple will attempt to cycle from Seascale in Cumbria to Whitby in North Yorkshire in just one day.

The challenge was inspired by Megan’s nanna, Gertrude, who was cared for at St Ann’s Hospice in 2015 and her step-grandmother, Annie, who was supported by the hospice in 2007. She said: “This challenge is to thank everyone at the hospice for their love, support and care they provided for our two amazing grandparents, who we loved dearly.”

The couple are no strangers to taking on a challenge on their tandem bike, named Trudie after Megan’s Nanna, having cycled from Manchester to Blackpool in 2017, taken part in the Cheshire Cat Sportive in 2018 and completing the Manchester 100 mile bike ride in 2019.

Looking ahead to their latest adventure, Megan said: “We’ll be cycling 150 miles with an ascent of around 4,500 metres in around 14 hours. We’ll set off in the mountainous west of the Lake District and head through the Yorkshire Dales. From there, we travel along the Vale of York into the North Yorkshire Moors and finish up by the sea in Whitby. It is without doubt the hardest thing we have ever done.”

Once the couple have completed their ride and taken a well-deserved rest day, they will get back in the saddle and cycle the reverse journey from Whitby to Seascale.

St Ann’s provides care for thousands of people with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses every year from its hospice sites in Heald Green and Little Hulton, as well as via a range of community and outreach services.  Specialist hospice staff support people from across Greater Manchester and parts of Cheshire right from the point of diagnosis of their illness, through treatment and beyond.

In addition to their coast-to-coast challenge, Mark and Megan will also be taking on the 2022 Tour De Manc on Sunday 1st May to raise further funds for St Ann’s Hospice.

The Tour De Manc is a great way for cyclists to enjoy an amazing atmosphere and take in the sights of Greater Manchester. The event offers riders a variety of distances to suit all abilities including; Quarter Manc (50km route), Half Manc (100km route), Classic Full Manc (100 mile route) and Mad Manc (200km route). It will not come as a surprise that the Whittakers have opted for the Mad Manc route covering 200km (124 miles), climbing to an elevation of 10,000ft and travelling through all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester.

Standard price tickets for the Tour De Manc are £38. However, those who register their interest through St Ann’s Hospice will be provided with a special discount code.

To sponsor Megan and Mark on their coast-to-coast challenge visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tandemc2c2c

To sign up for a discounted place on the 2022 Tour De Manc visit: www.sah.org.uk/TDM

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