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A Lowestoft College lecturer has kicked off his fundraising and training campaign as he prepares to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats for the fourth year in a row.

64-year-old Mike Rainton from Oulton Broad is set to jump into the saddle again in June to ride the 874 mile route in just six days in aid of the Bishop Simeon Trust, which works to tackle the impact of HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

As well as having his sights set firmly on the finish line, Mike who teaches Psychology and the Foundation Studies groups, is hoping this year’s fundraising will take the total he has raised for the Trust to well over £10,000.

The harsh weather conditions have meant that Mike, a seasoned rider with cycling club Velo Barrachi, hasn’t been able to train as much as he’d like, but with Spring just around the corner he’s keen to get out on the roads to build up his fitness levels. His fundraising has got off to a good start and he has already raised just over £500 by selling bacon rolls in the College and organising a competition to guess the distance rowed by a team of his students.

Mike said: “When I cycled the route for the first time I said I would never do it again. But, each year I sign up for the challenge because I want to do my bit to help. As soon as I got off my bike at John O’Groats last year I knew I’d have to sign up for the challenge again as I wanted to hit the £10,000 mark.”

This year he will also share the role of Race Director and will advise the team of six riders and help to keep them motivated throughout the gruelling week.

All the costs of the race are underwritten by online bookmakers, SportingBet, which means that every penny of the sponsorship raised by Mike and his team mates go directly to The Bishop Simeon Trust which has organised the event. Most riders take nearly two weeks to cycle End to End, but the ‘Race Against Time’ team are doing it in the fastest possible time and will cycle an average of almost 150 miles per day to reflect the importance of action.

Anyone wishing to help Mike’s fundraising can make a donation by calling him at Lowestoft College on 01502 583521.

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