Four plucky women are back home after completing the challenge of a lifetime – a 400km cycle ride across Tanzania for a cancer charity.
Sisters Jacky Godfrey, from Great Mitton, and Christine Humberstone, from Higham, along with close friends Philippa McDowell, from Fence, and Shirley Foster, from Whalley, had been training since January to prepare for the gruelling Unite and Bike Against Cancer Challenge.
After the 14-hour flight to Kilimanjaro Airport, the fantastic four set off with 40 other riders, all cycling for cancer charities across the UK.
The four – in their 50s – cycled an average 80km on each of the five days of the trip, from 7am until the light began to fade.
Jacky said: “It was a tough challenge, particularly battling through sand on our bikes in the heat, but the team spirit was amazing throughout.”
Jacky’s husband Ian died of cancer in 2010, and had been cared for at the Rosemere Cancer Centre at the Royal Preston Hospital.
Since then, she has been raising money for the Rosemere Cancer Foundation through fund-raising activities including a black tie event at Mitton Hall and completing the Vietnam to Cambodia Bike Ride in 2011.
Jacky said: “We’d like to thank everyone; friends, colleagues and local businesses who offered us their support.
“I’m excited to start planning my next adventure to help raise money for Rosemere.”
Jacky’s team rode from Kilimanjaro to Arusha and on through Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, camping one night in a Maasai village and staying at other campsites and lodges before reaching the finishing line at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ngorongoro Crater Reserve.
Their amazing ride has raised £9,000 with money still coming in towards their £10,000 target.
The four self-funded their trip expenses so all money raised will go to Rosemere, to support vital treatment and research for cancer patients throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria.
In addition to individual donations, the women were sponsored by local businesses: Lanes Group PLC, Response Footwear, Technology Solutions and Gordon Waddington Plumbing and Heating, all in Rossendale.
Jacky and Philippa have already signed up for their next challenge, a London-Paris bike, and the team are thinking about another challenge in Burma in a year.
Dan Hill, Rosemere’s fund-raising coordinator for East Lancashire, said: “They’ve worked incredibly hard to raise a fantastic amount for Rosemere and have also had the adventure of a lifetime in the process.
“If anyone is interested in following in their footsteps next year they can get in touch with us to find out more.”
To find out about Unite and Bike Against Cancer 2014 contact Rosemere on 01772 528346.
To support Jacky and her team visit www.justgiving.com/teams/Africa