An East Kilbride man has raised more than £1800 for charity after completing a gruelling virtual Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle.
Ryan Summerhill, smashed his initial target of £200, raising £1860 so far, by cycling 1084 miles over a 42-day period for multiple sclerosis (MS) Society Scotland.
He took on the ride virtually, using an indoor bike covering nearly a marathon every day.
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Ryan, 27, chose to raise funds as his family has been affected by MS, and the pandemic made it impossible to take part in planned events last year.
He told Lanarkshire Live: “My brother was diagnosed with MS at 21, about ten years ago now, and struggled really badly with it at the beginning.
“There was a lot of trial and error in terms of finding a treatment that worked for him and there was some pretty rough spells for him during that time. But thankfully he’s been much better over the last few years.
“That’s part of why I wanted to fundraise, to ensure that going forward there are as many options for people living with MS as possible. Not all treatments work for everyone so having a choice can be the difference between having a treatment or not.”
Originally Ryan and his friend had planned to do the tough mudder last year, but that was pushed back because of Covid and they then had to pull out because of injury.
He went on: “I still wanted to do something to raise money for MS because it’s a charity really close to our family, but I hadn’t really found anything that suited me. Then I heard on the radio about someone who was doing the same challenge but walking over several months and I decided to put my own spin on it.
“Once I get an idea in my head I tend to just dive straight in at the deep end and go all out for it – that’s basically what happened with this.”
More than 15,000 people in Scotland have MS – one of the highest rates in the world.
Ryan continued: “I had been cycling a bit over the last two years but the furthest I had travelled in one day was 20 miles. I decided to set the target at 26 miles a day for 42 days in a row, so I knew it was going to be out of my comfort zone.
“It would have been amazing to travel the actual route but with everything going on it just wasn’t possibile.
“I’m definitely glad that I did it, and I’m really proud of the money that I’ve raised but I won’t be signing up to anything like that for another wee while!”
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Morna Simpkins, director of MS Society Scotland, added: “A huge thank you and well done to Ryan for completing his challenge and his fantastic fundraising.
“The pandemic has affected everyone’s plans and we’re really pleased that he chose to think outside the box, create his own event and play a part in raising awareness.
“We’ve never been closer to stopping MS in its tracks and events like this play a key role in funding research into more and better treatments for everyone affected by the condition.”
Anyone wishing to support Ryan can do so by visiting: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Ryan-Summerhill