Father and son set sights on completing ‘Lejog’ in aid of hospice charity

GWENT father and son Andy and Nathan Reeks will achieve a lifetime’s dream when they set off to cycle the length of Great Britain.

Andy, aged 63, and his estate agent son Nathan, 35, both from Caldicot, are in training for the gruelling Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle ride in aid of Newport-based St David’s Hospice Care

Andy, chairman of Caldicot Running Club, and Nathan, one of the directors of Caldicot-based Nathan James Estate Agents, are aiming to complete the momentous, 1,019 mile ride in July.

And who better to get advice and tips on the Lejog than former Wales rugby international Adrian Hadley, who is St David’s Hospice Care deputy chief executive, who has himself completed the ride.

The Monmouthshire duo visited St David’s Hospice Care, in Malpas, Newport, to see for themselves where the money they raise will go and to discuss tactics with Adrian.

Nathan said: “It’s great to get tips from someone who was actually endured and completed the ride.

“Dad and me have always had a shared interest in sport. Andy is an accomplished runner, and with his encouragement and coaching I followed in his footsteps as a teenager. “

A friend of the family carried out this impressive ride with Andy in the support team in 1990, when local champion cyclist, Pauline Strong, set a female endurance record of just under two days and seven hours for Lejog.

“Lejog is something that we have talked about doing ourselves for many years although not at the pace set by Pauline. With our family business established, and children growing up, we just felt the time was right to go for it now.”

The pair aim to complete the ride in 12 days covering some 100 miles a day and staying at Caravan Club site pitches, donated by the organisation, along the way.

The pair are being supported along the way by good friend Ian Waite.

Nathan said: “We really couldn’t do this trip without Ian’s help and support. He is our ‘life support’ on the trip. Ian will be driving the camper van, cooking and even servicing the bikes each night ready for the next day’s ride.”

“We are distance runners rather than riders, both with marathons under our belt. So distance cycling is new to us. But we’ve taken it in our stride, and are now comfortable doing 60-mile training rides. We are looking at covering around 100 miles a day on the ride, so we are where we need to be at the moment.”

Adrian Hadley, who says he still has nightmares about his ride, said: “I take my hat off to the pair. I’ve ridden that route and believe me it’s not something to be taken lightly. It’s one hell of a challenge and St David’s Hospice Care is supremely grateful for them choosing to complete the ride in aid of the charity.”

People can donate in person at Nathan James Estate Agents’ office, or online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nathan-reeks.