St Annes pals complete 138 mile pier-to-pier cycle ride for breast cancer charity

Two friends have raised more than £4,000 for a breast cancer charity after completing a gruelling 138 mile coast-to-coast cycle ride in a single day.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 12:30 pm

Accountant Liam Cowgill marked his 36th birthday by pedalling from St Annes Pier to Saltburn Pier in North Yorkshire with BAe engineer Anthony Bentwood, 35.

The pair, who both live in St Annes, were inspired to raise money for Breast Cancer Now in thanks for the support the charity gave to Liam's wife Jennifer when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2020 - just one week into the first lockdown.

Thankfully following chemotherapy and surgery, Jennifer, 34, and mum to three-year-old Olive, is now clear of cancer although she will continue with some further surgery and regular scans.

Liam (left) and Anthony preparing to leave St Annes

Liam said: "Throughout Jen's diagnosis and treatment I found the information available from Breast Cancer Now invaluable.

"It really helped me understand what was going on, and made me realise how many people are going through the very same. They also fund world-class research projects into breast cancer treatments and drugs.

"I decided I needed to do something to give a little back. Throughout Jen's treatment, cycling was my escape - a way to help me deal with everything we were going through.

"This led me to the idea of cycling across the country in a day. Jen's love of piers then got me looking for an end point with a pier, and a 138 mile route from St Annes Pier to Saltburn Pier was chosen."

The pair on arrival in Saltburn

After completing the challenge last Friday (July 23), he added: "I enjoyed every second knowing what we were doing was for such a good cause.

"The support from family we received along the way was brilliant, and the welcome into Saltburn was amazing. It will be a day I never forget."

Dad-of-two Anthony, who is a member of St Annes Tennis and Squash Club, said: "Arriving at St Annes Pier at 5am with 138 miles of cycling ahead of us seemed a formidable challenge.

"We both knew with all of the training behind us and the money raised for charity we would succeed. Rolling into Saltburn 12 hours after we set off, tired and extremely hot, I felt a huge sense of achievement."

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