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Friends take on epic challenge

TWO friends are getting back in the saddle to cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End - the long way round.

TWO friends are getting back in the saddle to cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End - the long way round.

Mark Stokes, from Shirley, and Paul Robinson, from Castle Bromwich, have come up with an alternative to the traditional journey.

The friends, who first met as young policemen in Solihull, will be riding via the Outer Hebrides, Ireland, Wales and south-west England.

Both men have completed the normal route - Mark did it in 1979 and Paul, more recently, in 2002.

Now they’re getting ready for the 1000-mile challenge, raising money for the borough’s own Marie Curie Hospice.

Mark, aged 50 and a CID inspector, said: “We’re both a lot older and in Paul’s case, a lot heavier than when we first undertook the trip.

“But at least this time, by starting at the top of Scotland, most of the journey will be downhill.”

And Paul, who retired two years ago, said there were personal reasons for choosing the charity: “We’ve both lost friends and relatives to cancer and Marie Curie do a lot of good work,” he said.

Over the years, the pals have completed several charity challenges - first teaming up to scale the Eiger mountain 20 years ago.

The duo have now set off from their Scottish starting point. To follow their progress - or make a donation - go to www.jogle-thelongway.co.uk.

 

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