Charity link-up for Peebles cycling spectacular

From left, Sharon Sheridan, Scotland fundraising manager with Kidney Research UK, Harley Lothian, marketing manager of Hillside Outside Ltd, with TIm McLean and Joseph McLean.
From left, Sharon Sheridan, Scotland fundraising manager with Kidney Research UK, Harley Lothian, marketing manager of Hillside Outside Ltd, with TIm McLean and Joseph McLean.

Event organiser Hillside Outside Ltd has announced Kidney Research UK as its official charity partner for the Tour O The Borders event, powered by Pirelli, which is scheduled for September 1.

Tour O The Borders is a top class, closed road sportive which starts in Peebles.

It offers two route options – 88km or 120km, both of which follow closed roads around the Scottish Borders countryside.

The spectacle attracts over 2000 cyclists and is fast becoming one of the best events on the UK sportive calendar.

However, it was the inspirational story of regular Tour O The Borders participants, West Linton father and son duo, Tim and Joseph McLean, which ignited the partnership between organiser and charity.

The pair had to withdraw from the 2018 event when Joseph, only 22, was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure in July 2018.

Fortunately, father Tim was a good tissue match for Joseph so, fast forward to July this year – and both are fully recovered from a kidney transplant operation and deep into their training for Tour O The Borders 2019.

“Joseph and I are hugely relieved to have the opportunity to return to Tour O The Borders again this year, thanks to the fantastic work of the fabulous renal and transplant teams of the NHS of whom we will be eternally grateful,” said Tim.

“Much of their work is supported by research funded by Kidney Research UK, who have the potential to improve the lives of the three million people with kidney disease in the UK today, plus their wider families.”

Joseph and Tim are among the lucky ones who were a good match for an early transplant – an ode to their good health, largely down to their love of cycling and participating in events such as Tour O The Borders.

“We have many things to be grateful for and good health is top of the list,” added Tim. “What better way to celebrate our return to good health than to take on Tour O The Borders again in 2019? We look forward to meeting up with many old and new friends and a great day of cycling on September 1, hopefully raising some money for this very worthy cause.”

Hillside Outside is committed to demonstrating the many benefits of cycling and, with the benefit in this situation being so significant, a partnership was inevitable, said marketing manager Harley Lothian.

“Tim and Joseph reached out to us earlier this year and we were so inspired by their story that we wanted to do what we could to raise awareness of this fantastic charity and, ultimately, educate people on the benefits that being physically fit can have in such a situation.

“We are delighted to announce this partnership with Kidney Research UK and hope to work together to help many more families across the UK.”

Donations can be made at tourotheborders.com and on the day of the event.