Brigend duo complete gruelling cross-Channel fundraising ride

Miles of gruelling training in the Borders hills helped an Ettrickbridge couple complete an epic charity cycle ride.

Before this year, Barbara Harrison and Linda Jackson, who are both 60, had never cycled more than 15 miles at a time.

But last week they peddled the 240 miles from London to Paris in just three days, raising £4,000 for three cancer charities.

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Part of a 147-strong Women v Cancer team raising money for Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action, Linda and Barbara said tackling the Borders hills in training had stood them in good stead for the arduous challenge.

“The fact that we have so many hills in the Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys really helped us with our training,” said Barbara, who has twice been treated for breast cancer.

“We were not keen on them at the time, but once it came to the event, I was passing women who were a lot younger than me on the hills. We are good examples of the fact that it is never too late to get fit.

“I hope that exercising regularly will help to keep my cancer at bay.”

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“This has been the toughest challenge of my life – having to peddle 80 miles every day and with very little sleep,” Linda added.

“We did six months of training and thank goodness we did, otherwise we would not have made it.

“The support that we have had from friends, family, the local community and local business has been tremendous.

“We would like to thank everyone who has supported us and donated to our fundraising effort.”

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The duo cycled with three friends from Edinburgh and the Scottish group were first over the finish line in Paris.

“That wasn’t really down to our sporting prowess, but the fact that we used our initiative and good sense of direction when cycling into Paris,” Linda admitted. “We had friends meeting us at the finish line near to the Eiffel Tower and it was a very emotional moment.”

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