‘I will cycle 500 miles’, vows fundraising firefighter on eve of Scottish challenge

Firefighter Mike CooperA firefighter is getting in gear for a mammoth charity challenge in memory of his beloved auntie.

Mike Cooper, an on-call crew manager at Frodsham Fire Station and a wholetime firefighter at Ellesmere Port Fire Station, has set himself the daunting target of cycling nearly 500 miles in just four days.

Starting in his home town of Frodsham on Sunday 28 July, the 37-year-old has vowed to cycle all the way to his auntie Anne Ross’ grave in Ullapool in the Highlands of Scotland by the end of Wednesday 31 July.

Anne would regularly make long journeys from her home in Ullapool for family get-togethers before she lost her battle with cancer last year.

So there was only ever going to be one place to ride to once Mike had decided to embark on a cycling challenge in aid of the cancer charity that was a godsend to Anne and the family in their time of need.The dad-of-two said: “My auntie Anne was the most amazing woman. Losing her to cancer last year has left a huge hole in our family.

“We will always be indebted to the people at Maggie’s Highlands for all that they did for my auntie Anne and for all that they have done, and continue to do, for our family.

“There are Maggie’s centres throughout the UK offering a wide range of support to people with cancer and their loved ones.

“The centres rely solely on donations to operate and I want to give something back.

“I ran the London Marathon in aid of Maggie’s Highlands in April and have raised more than £1,000 for the charity so far.

“The cycling challenge is going to be a lot harder, riding more than 100 miles a day through inevitably difficult weather conditions in the Lake District and the Scottish Highlands.

“But it is fitting that I will be cycling all the way to my auntie Anne’s grave in Ullapool and I am determined to complete the challenge.”

Mike will be accompanied on his journey by his 62-year-old dad Dave Cooper, of Pen-y-ffordd in North Wales.

Dave will complete as much of the journey as he can but is not planning on attempting to cycle the full 480-mile distance.

Mike, who has been a firefighter since 2011, said: “We will be starting off at Frodsham Fire Station and cycling to Penrith in the Lake District on the first day.

“On day two we will be heading to Glasgow, on day three we will attempting to get to Kinlochleven and by the end of day four we hope to be at my auntie Anne’s graveside in Ullapool.

“My dad has completed nine marathons in the past and will do as much as he can, riding sections of the route with me each day.

“We have both been training hard for the challenge and hope to raise as much money for the Maggie’s Highlands charity as we can.”

Anyone willing to make a donation towards the charity challenge should go online at Just Giving (opens in new window) for more details.

Date published: Fri, 19 Jul 2019 11:35:56 GMT

Last updated: Friday 19 July 2019

Related images

Firefighter Mike Cooper