How does cycling 112 miles over every major pass of the Lake District sound? Challenging is just one word that springs to mind. But that is exactly what our very own Philip Chandler did as he took on the Fred Whitton Challenge.
For those of you who have never heard of this challenge before, it consists of cycling over every major pass of the Lake District all in the name of charity. The Fred Whitton challenge is run in memory of Fred Whitton, who sadly lost his life to cancer aged 50 in 1998. The challenge started in 1999 with any sponsorship money raised going to the MacMillan Cancer charity, since the challenge started, it has raised over a million pounds, and has become an iconic event for keen cyclists, which was one reason Philip wanted to take part.
The ride certainly wasn’t smooth sailing however, as less than halfway through the cycle, Philip hit a cat’s eye which threw him off his bike. Although Philip was in a great deal of pain, he had badly hurt his elbow, but he got back on his bike and rode another 6 hours until he finished the sportive. Still in a huge amount of pain he went and found a first aider who bandaged up his elbow, the first aider noticed that something didn’t look right with Philip’s shoulder so instructed him to go to hospital. Philip went to hospital and had an x-ray on his shoulder which showed that he had snapped his collarbone in two.
Philip managed to complete the Fred Whitton challenge in 8 hours and 4 minutes, a tremendous achievement, especially after taking a heavy fall just 2 hours into the challenge.
But it isn’t just cycling that Philip excels in, he is also rather good at a sport called sculling. For those of you who are unaware of what sculling is, it is similar to kayaking but you have two oars, one in each hand. Back in 2014, Philip got silver in the British Rowing Masters championship for his age group, which is a national competition, but his collarbone injury means he’ll be out of action for some time.
If you have been keeping up with our blog, you’ll know that Philip is supposed to be taking part in another cycle ride from Geneva to Lyon in September, he has assured us that he will be fit and 100% taking part.