The bereaved partner of a much loved colleague at the Andersonstown News has completed an epic bike tour in her memory.Janine McMullan, an employee with the Belfast Media Group for over a decade, passed away in March after a 14-month battle with cancer.
Inspired by her courage and determined to honour her memory, her partner Chris Condon last month embarked on a gruelling 260-mile cycle across the burning Nevada desert.
Accompanied by his friends and fellow cycling enthusiasts Paul Aicken and Tony McCann, the trio took on the challenging trek in dizzying temperatures and across the infamous Death Valley in aid of Action Cancer.
The three local guys cycled an average of 42 miles each day for six consecutive days in soaring temperatures across the desert, raising a staggering £12,000 for the charity in the process.
Chris said the money had been raised in a variety of ways.
“We held numerous fundraising events in the run-up to the trip and managed to exceed our target. We endured having our legs waxed, a two-hour spin cycling class, dressing as kids’ TV characters, having an 80s night, plus other discos, quizzes and ballots.
“We trained all year with the Trappers Cycle Club on the Falls Road in the run-up to the challenge and prepared by cycling from Belfast to County Donegal in one day, and Belfast to Maynooth, then on to Galway, over two days.”
Paul said the challenge itself had been very demanding on the participants.
“It had three long hill climbs, each between 14 to 30 miles long, which took us to levels higher than Ben Nevis. Some of the climbs began below sea level and reached 5,500ft at the top – so high that there was snow and ice on the mountains and roadsides.
“However, due to our training and general fitness we completed the whole event successfully. I certainly can’t say it was easy, and we even found ourselves a little unprepared for the colder temperatures during the ride. But we all had a fantastic time and came home with a great sense of achievement – not to mention the great figure we have reached with our fundraising.”