Banchory gran’s cycling challenge

Catherine Ross, who will cycle 510 miles from Edinburgh to London, in five days.
Catherine Ross, who will cycle 510 miles from Edinburgh to London, in five days.

A Banchory grandmother who ran her first marathon at 51, has set herself the gruelling challenge of cycling from Edinburgh to London in five days, to raise money for military charity, SSAFA.

Catherine Ross, 54, is to cycle the 510 miles between September 12 and 16. SSAFA supports those who serve and have served within the army, navy and Royal Air Force.

This is not the first challenge Catherine has undertaken, having run several marathons to raise funds for those who serve, although she thinks this ride will be far more difficult.

“This is no easy challenge, even for someone half my age,” she said. “There will be others on this challenge, including injured servicemen on adapted bikes, and the ride will be assisted by a backup crew who will feed us and look after any needs the bike may have.

“More importantly, my husband Graham will be driving the 510 miles behind me to give me moral support and to rub my sore legs after the day’s cycle!

“I am the mother of three grown-up sons and very proud Grandma of Matilda and Nathaniel. I want to show my grandchildren, through actions, that with a blessed life comes responsibility towards others. Life is not always fair and many people are not as fortunate as we are.

“In the future, we will leave Afghanistan and life will go on. Unfortunately for many of our servicemen, women and veterans, this will be difficult and SSAFA and other military charities will be called upon to assist. This can only be achieved with our help.

“Please help those men and women who are and were prepared to give more and sacrifice more, I believe they have earned the right to our help.”

Catherine only bought her road bike six months ago when she decided to take up road biking.

“Normally I run and have run many 10ks, half marathons and marathons to raise funds for mostly military charities,” she said. “Why do I push myself to do such challenges? Quite simply to help those who are unable to do such a challenge.

“As someone who spends a great deal of time with servicemen/women, injured servicemen and families of our fallen, I find myself surrounded by courage every day, and this is what keeps me going.

“It is a privilege to be able to help those who serve and have served our country, as I believe they are and were prepared to give more and sacrifice more. I also believe they have earned the right to our help.”

To donate visit: www.virginmoneygiving.com/catherinerobertson-ross