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Thetford cyclists pedal against the odds

PUBLISHED: 09:15 28 August 2009 | UPDATED: 21:39 07 July 2010

TWO determined cyclists have defied the odds, and the weather, to pedal the length of the country to raise money for charity.

TWO determined cyclists have defied the odds, and the weather, to pedal the length of the country to raise money for charity.

Giles Smith, 62, and Richard Rolton, 60, have so far raised £2,500, with more to come, after spending 10 days cycling 860 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats.

Dr Smith, a retired GP from the Grove Surgery in Thetford, said: “It went very well but the weather was atrocious.

“Down in East Anglia you had a heat wave and every day we had rain. On the Thursday morning the wind was with us but it was so bad that if it hadn't have been we probably would have given up.”

All money raised will be donated to the Thetford branch of the Alzheimer's Society, and will go towards support groups and setting up day care services.

Three years ago Mr Rolton, who works as an optician at Scotts in Thetford, fractured three vertebrae in his neck in a bike accident while in 1997 Dr Smith had a motoring accident in which he broke his neck in three places and punctured his lung.

The men were back at work within three months and both say a factor in their speedy recovery was their physical fitness.

The pair took 10 days to complete the challenge, cycling up to 101 miles a day.

Mr Smith added: “One thing I did find amusing was when I arrived in Land's End in my slippers.

“I had to borrow some sailing shoes from Richard, which was a bit of a senior moment.”

Both doctors' surgeries in Thetford and Scotts Opticians have also been raising money although the total is not yet known.

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