South Tyneside teacher plans to cycle entire Jarrow March route in one go - but in reverse

A South Tyneside teacher is swapping the books for a bike as he prepares to take on a cycling challenge.

Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 4:55 am

Stephen Hannah, Head of Year Nine at Jarrow School, has been spending his time outside the classroom training for the ultimate non-stop cycling challenge from London to Jarrow.

Stephen will follow the route of the famous ‘Jarrow March’ which saw over 200 men and women march from Jarrow to London to present their petition to parliament after the town suffered high levels of poverty and unemployment.

The 31-year-old has chosen to raise money for Children North East, a charity that creates life-changing differences for babies, children and young people in their families, schools and communities.

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Paul Hume (left) with Stephen Hannah

He said: "Knowing the story of the Jarrow March, with crusaders from the North East protesting due to lack of employment and poverty, it is clear that we have made big progress but there are still a lot of people suffering in our region.”

Stephen will take on the challenge with a Paul Hume who he met through Hartlepool Triathletes and the pair will cycle back together with no support vehicle.

The pair have been training hard and testing equipment out particularly due to cold temperatures at this time of year.

He added: “Going by experience in endurance challenges, there becomes a limit where it is more about your mental strength than physical strength. Spending a lot of time planning and organising the challenge helps to alleviate worries and ‘what ifs?’. Planning the route, equipment, water and food stops is only part of the logistics.

“Always remembering the reason for this challenge helps when we hit tough patches during training and the event itself. Hopefully, this along with each other’s morale will be enough to keep us focused on the finish line.”

He will take on the route in reverse which is approximately 320 miles and plans to tackle the route in one go. He will arrive in London at 4pm on Wednesday, February 23, and will make the journey back home on his bike during the night.

Donations to the cause can be made through Stephen’s Just Giving page.

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