By Hugo Varley,
Gillingham fan Kimberley Cogger is certainly going the extra mile (well 980 miles!) to raise funds for the club’s official charity partner, Take Heart Mercy Mission.
Starting on September 7, Kimberley will attempt to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats in just nine days, which will involve covering well over 100 miles each day.
“I am incredibly excited but at the same time I am rather terrified!” she admits. “There is a lot of hill climbing even on the first day so it is going to be a tough task right from the very start.
“A few years ago my friend did the London to Paris cycle and when I spoke to her after she had finished I realised what an incredible achievement it is and decided to do something similar.
“Despite having hardly cycled before, I bought a bike about six months ago and cycling became something of an obsession for me.”
Kimberley found out about the great work that the Take Heart Mercy Mission do while attending Gillingham’s annual charity function last year.
The charity works hard to help perform lifesaving heart operations on young children in Sri Lanka.
“Even though it is going to be a tough task, the money that is being raised will make it all worthwhile” said the avid Gills supporter.
“After learning about the superb work that the surgeons, anesthetists and nurses do to help the children in Sri Lanka, I realised that I should put my new found passion for cycling to good use by raising money for the Take Heart Mercy Mission.
“It is hard to know how well my training is going because it is almost impossible to completely prepare yourself to cycle nearly 1,000 miles back to back!
“I think I have cycled about 2,800 miles so far this year and have just started doing some 100-mile days, which definitely takes it out of you!”
With the bike ride taking place at the start of autumn, there is a strong chance that the British weather could turn against Kimberley and her fellow cyclists at some point.
“I preparing for the worst and am expecting it to rain every day!” she jokes. “Thankfully there are 800 other participants doing the cycle so I am sure that we will be motivating each other.
“Every time someone adds a donation to my page, I am completely lost for words and it helps to remind me why I am putting myself through this gruelling challenge!”
Donations to the Take Heart Mercy Mission can be made through Kimberley’s fundraising page which can be found at – https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=Kimberley-RAB&pageUrl=2