By Nigel Wynn
Four "middle-aged" British cyclists who have suffered from cancer are hoping to set a record at the 2018 Race Across America (RAAM), widely recognised as being one of the toughest cycling challenges in the world.
The four riders are hoping to set the quickest time for a team of cancer survivors as they tackle the 3,100-mile (4,989km) route non-stop from the Pacific to the Atlantic in seven days starting from June 16 2018.
Richard Salisbury (39), Mike Grisenthwaite (55), Kevin Musgrave (52) and Carol Sheehan (51) are riding to raise funds for the charity Cyclists Fighting Cancer (CFC), which supports children and young people living with and beyond cancer across the UK.
The team is aiming to hit a fund-raising target of over £250,000 with their effort. You can follow their progress, find out more about the riders and donate via the www.cfcraam.bike website.
They will have to average 18mph (29kmh) per day and ride 750 miles (1,207km) each in total to achieve their goal of seven days. However, as no team of cancer survivors has ever undertaken riding RAAM, they can finish within the official time limit of nine days to set a record.
The route crosses 12 states and includes 170,000 feet (51,816 metres) of climbing in total, with the Sierra, Rocky and Appalachian mountain ranges all tackled.
Grisenthwaite, who is founder and CEO of CFC, said: "We aren’t super athletes by any means, we’re a group of four average cyclists with one thing in common, we’ve all had cancer and have overcome numerous issues to get through our treatment.
"We want to show that despite the setbacks, great things can still be achieved, and to pass that message onto the children we work with on a day-to-day basis."
The quartet say they are "on a mission in remission": Salisbury and Grisenthwaite with blood cancer, Musgrave with testicular cancer and Sheehan with thyroid cancer. All have experienced surgery and/or chemotherapy and radiotherapy as part of their cancer treatment, some with long-lasting effects.
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