My Coast to Coast experience

By Nicky Taylor

I’m definitely not the fittest person in the world, but I do like a challenge! I’d tackled my first mud run in 2016 and wondered what I could do in 2017. That’s when I saw Harry’s Trust were offering places to cycle the Coast to Coast route. A whopping 156 miles, over the Lake District and Pennines from White Haven to Tynemouth. No mean feat for the fittest of people, but for someone who’s never cycled more than 5 miles, it was going to be a definite challenge! Despite this, I signed myself up and talked 3 friends into doing it with me! So with just 3 months until we took on the ride, I started my training in earnest. My first bike ride – 3 times around Draycote water. Largely because I’d not been on a bike for years and it’s nice and flat! So much to get used to – riding again, gears, hills!

The four of us spent most of the summer together, cycling for hours and hours. We cycled up and down Newnham hill god knows how many times, in an attempt to hill train. I actually got off on my first down hill descent as I was scared witless of the speed! But with the support of our C2C team and regular rides, I gained in confidence. My riding improved extremely quickly and I went from riding 5 miles to easily riding 40 miles within a couple of months. Finally the day arrived for us to travel up to White Haven where our adventure would begin.

To say I was nervous would be an understatement. Could I actually even do this? Cycle 156 miles over bigger hills than we’d attempted in training and longer back to back rides than I’d ridden before? I’d been really poorly the week before we were due to start and my energy levels were zapped. I didn’t sleep much the night before we started, but I was doing this, no matter what. I’m not going to lie – the first day I found really tough. We’d ridden up Whinlatter Pass in the morning, an extremely steep climb and come lunch time I was emotional and exhausted. I had to dig deep and my thoughts turned to Harry. I thought about what that little boy has been through in his short life and reminded myself exactly why I was doing this. With the encouragement of my team mates (and lots of energy gels!), I finished the first day.To say I felt truly proud of myself was an understatement. I knew at that point that I would complete this.

The second day was tough, lots and lots of climbing, but it was also a day of milestones. First one was making it half way across the country and the second making it to the highest point of our trip. It was all down hill from here! Day three was fantastic. There are 2 big climbs in the morning, but for the last 30 odd miles it was literally down hill. And I was off! There was no stopping me! Chomping at the bit to get to the finish! Reaching The end and seeing the sea at Tynemouth was quite simply incredible. I can safely say that this experience was one of the best I have ever done. There were tears and much laughter. I accomplished goals I’d never dreamed of before. I made it across the country by pedal power – ME!!

If you are thinking about a challenge for 2018, then try the Coast to Coast and do it for Harry. I am immensely proud of our team. It isn’t easy – but then it wouldn’t be a challenge. But if I can do it, then anyone can! We got to see some amazing scenery, truly beautiful. It was an adventure I will never ever forget.

EVENT: Christmas Walk for Harry

We all know Christmas is the perfect time to indulge, so why not end the year feeling good and doing good on our festive 10k walk?

We really hope that you will join us on 30 December for a fun, festive 10k walk around some beautiful Northamptonshire countryside in aid of Harry. Starting and finishing at The Windmill Inn in Badby this is going to be a great chance to get together, do some exercise and help a very brave little boy. There will even be breakfast at the end!!

All you have to do is raise or donate £15 for The Helping Harry Trust and pull on those walking boots.

We really do hope we can get as many people as possible to join us! Please confirm your place by emailing or sending us a message on our Facebook page. 

Mince Pie Munch Off 2017

This is a really fun festive night that everyone thoroughly enjoyed last year. Taking place at The Romer Arms in Newnham, also known as Maria’s Kitchen this event will have you feeling christmassy and is a really good giggle!! Last year Simon won the accolade of Mince Pie Eating Champion 2016 and this year we are wondering who can steal his trophy (and glory). The rules are simple – how many mince pies can you eat in 10 minutes?

Whoever wins will also win £100 – perhaps for more pies? or it certainly could help with some Christmas merrymaking.

All money raised during the evening will go to helping Harry. All you have to do is let us know your pie eating name, ie Guzzling Gary, Ate em all Andy, etc and donate £10 into Harry’s Go Fund Me account.

Come along, bring your friends and family to watch you show off your pie eating prowess! You could even encourage them to compete against you. It’s all good fun and for a great cause so please get involved!!

100 Miles for Harry

In order to raise vital funds for our wonderful Harry we need you to get moving this September.

You can walk, run, cycle, ride, swim, hop, dance – or do a bit of everything. It’s completely up to you!

So whether you fancy challenging yourself to complete 100 miles in a day, want to do it in a week, or spread it out over the month, you choose exactly what works for you. All you need to do is clock up 100 miles during September at your own pace. For those who count steps, that’s about 211,000 steps over the month. Or just 7,033 steps a day. Easy, right?

It’s a great opportunity to set yourself a personal challenge and show your support for little Harry. All money raised will go directly towards helping Harry get the specialist care and equipment he desperately needs.

Ready to get involved? 
1) First, tell us on Facebook how you’ll get to 100 miles – we can’t wait to hear your ideas!
2) To get started you’ll need to raise at least £20 sponsorship. So please pay this to Harry’s Go Fund Me page to show your commitment –
3) Great if you can raise more than that – so ask your friends and family to sponsor you by using our 100 Miles for Harry Sponsor Form. Anyone who raises over £100 will be entered into a prize draw with some top goodies to be won!

You can also use our 100 Miles Mileage Form to keep track of how many miles you’re doing!

Everyone will be sharing their journeys here all throughout September, and we’ll be cheering you on every step (or hop) of the way! So good luck and let’s get moving!

Great British Bake Off Sweepstake

The Bake Off is back! Take part in our sweepstake to help us raise essential funds for The Helping Harry Trust – and if your baker wins, you’ll take home some cash too!

Here’s how to play:

  1. Download our Helping Harry Bake Off Sheet
  2. Cut out the boxes, fold them and put them in a hat / envelope
  3. Everyone picks a baker at random for a donation (we suggest £2 a go). Keep a record of who picked who
  4. The person who chose the winning baker gets half of the prize money – and you donate the rest to the Helping Harry Trust