A determined Bentley GP is counting down the days to the start of a marathon cycle challenge to raise funds in memory of his grandparents.
Dr David Crichton has signed up for one of the UK cycling’s biggest endurance tests, the Deloitte Ride Across Britain.
On September 8 he will set out to cover the 969 miles from Land’s End to John O’ Groats on his bike in just nine days. He will join 800 elite and novice cyclists in pedalling his way through 23 counties and three countries at an average of 110 energy-sapping miles a day.
Dr Crichton, 47, who is chairman of NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group, will ride the event to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK, in memory of two Scottish grandparents who both died from the disease.
He said: “Cycling has been a big part of my life from an early age as my parents didn’t drive, so getting on my bike was how I got to school and gave me some freedom.
“My grandad, George Laing lived in Fife and worked for many years down the local mines before he sadly died of stomach cancer. He, along with one of my uncles and cousins, used to help organise and compete in cycling events at the local Highland Games around Scotland, so riding a bike is in my genes.
“Grandad George and his wife, Euphemia – who also later died of cancer of the gullet – have been my motivation in wanting to compete in the event and raise money towards trying to find a cure for all cancers. I’m sure that thinking about them on the route will keep me going through the tough periods.”
As he ticks of the days to September, Dr Crichton has been fitting in long distance training sessions around his work and family commitments, including completing his first 100 miler in seven hours from his York home last weekend.
Being a doctor he understands the need to manage his energy and hydration levels closely, as he burns off around 3,000 calories for every 100 miles he cycles – compared to the average adult burning off 2,000 to 2,500 calories every 24 hours.
A former Major in the army, where he served as a medical officer in the Parachute Regiment after qualifying as a Doctor, Dr Crichton will be able to call on his experience of enduring tough military tasks to help keep him going over the nine muscle-sapping days of the ride. Dr Crichton wants to raise as much as he can for Cancer Research UK and everyone he knows is helping. You can hear from Dr David Crichton on a video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3xds6TRRI and if you would like to donate on-line to support Cancer Research UK visit his www.justgiving.com/fundraising/david-crichton2 page.