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28 Feb 2002

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Mike's Challenge!

I am participating in the PDSA Challenge of a Lifetime Challenge. The event that I am undertaking is the Sri Lanka Cycle Challenge which takes place between the 5th and 14th October 2002. This involves cycling across Sri Lanka on a mountain bike in temperatures in the region of 75°F!

This event will be challenging physically; especially as I haven't cycled to this extent since I finished road cycling 10 years ago, and I don't even have a bike! I am currently training at my local gymnasium, within the Scarisbrick Hotel. They have put together a training program and are rallying up support for me!

To qualify for the event I have to raise a minimum amount of £2,250, which has to be collected and sent to the PDSA by 13th July 2002. This just adds to the pressure, but I admit this is all part of the challenge! To raise awareness I have created a web site at This follows on from last years successful skydive charity jump which raised over £1,200 for Cancer Research. Photographs and movie footage from last year's event are available on the web site. The web site also details the progress of this year's charity event, and it is updated often. It also details other services and fund raising events that I have, or will be, arranging to help me reach the target.  I have tried to design the site it so it makes the public feel part of the challenge, as they read about my struggle to 
get prepared for the challenge.

There are various reasons for taking part in this challenge. Firstly, and most importantly to raise money for Charitable organizations PDSA, and secondly to set myself a personal goal and commitment. I have been for far too long, saying I wish I could do that, or it is always someone else. Therefore I've set myself this challenge and I am determined to complete it. I will be looking forward to meeting new people from all branches of life, who have participated for their own personal reasons, and also to work as a member of a team. I hope it will give me confidence and new skills that I can use in my normal day to day life upon my return from Sri Lanka.

Go to the top of the page.

Now about me. I am 27 years old, and have 2 children, Lauren 7 and Jordan 5. They mean the world to me, and I hope that doing this challenge will make them proud of their dad and of myself! I work in Warrington as a computer engineer, so it will be nice to get out the office!
The itinerary of the Challenge is as follows:-
Day 1:- Fly London to Colombo
Day 2:- Arrive in Colombo and transfer to Ranweli Holiday Village
Day 3:- Early start by coach to Urapola Junction and then a  full day cycling to Nuwara Eliya 
Day 4:- Early start by coach to Keerthibandarapura. To Kandy for lunch and coach to Temple of the Tooth Relic. Back to Kandy for the night
Day 5:- Early start cycling from Kandy to Dambulla. Then  coach from Dumbulla to local caves. Over night in Kandalama
Day 6:- Depart Kandalama and arrive at Sigiriya to climb the ancient Rock. Then cycle to Habarana for lunch and onto 
Polonnaruwa. Transfer to Habarana Lodge.
Day 7:- Cycle from Habarana to Anuradhapura
Day 8:- Depart early by coach to Diyadahara. Then cycle to Ranweli when we reach the end of the challenge.
Day 9:- Stay at Ranweli prior to departing back to UK
Day 10:- Early morning departure to airport, 
arriving back in London in the afternoon

Article by Mike Leatherbarrow.

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