A PORTADOWN teenager is finalising preparations for a 430-mile charity cycle - just months after first purchasing a road bike.
Nathan Corry will head off to County Donegal on Saturday, May 5 in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care for a week-long cycle between Malin Head and Cork’s Mizen Head.
The 18-year-old started training in August 2011 with only limited knowledge of road cycling but remains determined to complete the demanding route.
“To be honest, we had to actually buy a road bike so it has been a real journey on a personal level just getting ready for the cycle,” said Nathan. “I had previously tackled charity cycles over 30 miles and 50 miles on a mountain bike then once Marie Curie’s newsletter dropped in and mentioned this challenge I really wanted to give it a go.
“I am raising the money for family reasons but the whole build-up has probably changed how I personally approach everything in terms of diet and fitness.
“At the start, I was a complete novice but once I joined the Clann Eireann Cycling Club in Lurgan everything started to fall into place.
“I am now a regular club competitor and stick to the food plan and training schedule provided by Clann Eireann.
“That support has been vital in my push towards the charity run, with Clann Eireann also hosting a fund-raiser around Christmas.”
Nathan continued, “My parents and friends have also been a big help and now I am just looking forward to getting started.
“The final deadline for bringing in money is around a month after the cycle and currently I’m on about £1,050 towards the £1,450 target.
“We have online and text options set up for donations plus people can give me a bell directly as every penny counts.
“It is a big jump from my previous charity cycles but that is part of the challenge and I expect the camaraderie with the other cyclists to be a big part of the overall experience.
“I think we have around 30 in total taking part, although I do not know anyone else.
“I have really enjoyed the hard work leading up to this point so just want to finish the job.”
Nathan’s schedule over the seven days is as follows: DAY ONE - Malin Head to Buncrana (31 miles); DAY TWO - Buncrana to Enniskillen (68 miles); DAY THREE - Enniskillen to Longford (59 miles); DAY FOUR - Longford to Nenagh (85 miles); DAY FIVE - Nenagh to Mallow (75 miles); DAY SIX - Mallow to Clonakilty (62 miles); DAY SEVEN - Clonakilty to Mizen Head (50 miles).
To make a donation contact Nathan on 07955745593, log on to www.justgiving.com/Irelandcancercharity or text QNBE75 and £amount to 70070.