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Cyclist endures ‘toughest challenge’ to raise vital charity funds

Kevin Turner and his fellow cyclists endured a gruelling challenge to raise charity funds.
Kevin Turner and his fellow cyclists endured a gruelling challenge to raise charity funds.

A cyclist endured the “toughest physical challenge” of his life as he helped to raise funds for a charity close to his heart.

Kevin Turner, the uncle of brave South Shields schoolgirl Alex Turner, took part in a gruelling 120-mile bike ride from Berwick to Hexham to raise funds for Alex’s Angels.

It was the toughest physical challenge I’ve ever taken part in in my life

Kevin Turner

Alex was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer last October and has since been given the all-clear, but during and since her treatment, she has been raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The St Wilfrid’s RC College pupil’s fundraising drive, called Alex’s Angels, is nearing its £50,000 target, and the pot was boosted by the funds raised by the bike ride.

Kevin, who is originally from South Shields and now lives in Newcastle, took on the challenge with nine colleagues and close friends, and four of them raised about £2,200 for Alex’s Angels.

However, the hilly route, called ‘The Sandstone Way’, took three days to complete, and took its toll.

Mr Turner, 45, said: “Last year, we did a coast-to-coast, but this time we wanted to do something different, and this sounded very challenging.

“It was a nightmare, as it was a very difficult course.

“The coast-to-coast was actually quite easy compared to this, because we had to do a lot of climbing, crossed fields, went through rivers and had to dodge cows.

“It’s all off-road, and is a new, recognised cycle route for mountain bikes. It was extremely difficult, and a few of the lads struggled, particularly over the last few miles.

“It was the toughest physical challenge I’ve ever taken part in in my life. The satisfaction we got at the end made it all worth it, though.”

Mr Turner added: “The bike ride was something that we arranged to do as a challenge for ourselves, but four of us decided we wanted to raise funds along the way.

“We were delighted with the amount we raised, and it pushes Alex closer to her £50,000 target, which is great.”