You may remember back in April, at the very beginning of the lockdown, we shared the story of Jade and Katie who have been training vigorously for the South Coast Ultra Challenge in August in support of St Wilfrid's (which you can read here). While they still continue to train, one of the sisters, Katie, has taken on an extra challenge in memory of their mum on her 52nd birthday. 

Katie tells us about her challenge below. 

After Mum died I really wanted to do something crazy, yet special, for those at St Wilfrid’s Hospice who were so lovely and caring to us and our Mum.

As someone who loves to push herself, I needed to find something different, something crazy, and something personal. Mum was to turn 52 on the 14th May, so being a keen cyclist, why not do 52 laps of the infamous zig-zag climb in Meads Village - infamous for us cyclists!

I decided to take on this challenge on Sunday 10th May, starting at 7.30am. The weather kept changing; it looked like a storm was brewing and there were gale force winds, but I was alright as I was sheltered by the trees!

I had decided to do the laps in sets, allowing myself to refuel between each. My first set was 12 laps, which took around one hour and thirty minutes. I felt good due to my boyfriend Jack keeping my pace in check, ‘slow and steady’ - something I’m known for not doing too well, however to get this challenge done meant I needed to be smart. I had no doubt in my mind that I couldn’t do it, I spoke to Mum on the way around and stuffed my face with whatever snacks Jack passed me to ensure I didn’t burn out. I felt strong.

I never really stopped; I had a few ten minute breaks to refuel and to speak to those who popped up to support me on my challenge. Naturally we all abided by social distancing, but it was so nice to have people come and support me.

With the next set of 20 laps I was feeling okay, at this point we were three hours in, but as I neared 25 laps I began to wobble and my progress was slowing. Jack joined me for a few more laps to keep my moral up and I was happy to see my dad and sister appear at the top of the climb, which gave me the extra boost I needed!

I split the final 20 laps into ten sets. I was over the half way mark and knew I was going to complete the challenge, no matter how long it was going to take. I believe Mum was with me every step of the way.

Jack joined me for two laps of my final ten and I saw that my whole family were all waiting at the bottom, cheering me on through the final push. It was so incredibly special. With just three laps to go I was surprised to feel that I was actually going to complete this task, becoming more and more excited by what I had achieved and the funds I was able to raise. Coming around the last lap was amazing, seeing all my family there meant the world, greeted first by my dad who gave me the biggest hug.

I ended up climbing way more than I thought and riding further than we had predicted. In total I climbed half of Everest at 14,311ft and travelled 98.16 miles, all in a days work! I ended up raising approximately £1,000, a lot more than I could have imagined. I had asked for the funds to be donated to mine and my sister’s joint account, as we try and continue to raise funds for St Wilfrid’s.

If you would like to give Katie and Jade a donation, you can visit their JustGiving page here

For further information about how you can fundraise for St Wilfrid's, visit our 'Can you help?' pages here