John Bolton and Dianne Cooper from True Fitness, with Ciara and Katelyn Maloney and Marie O'Keeffe. Photo Denis Byrne.
Portarlington fitness expert John Bolton is taking on the challenge of a lifetime
While many Laois people will be thinking twice about walking to the shops in today's rain, Portarlington man John Bolton is fit and ready to start his truly epic journey cycling the length of the Rocky Mountains.
The fitness trainer has today landed in Calgary, Canada, where he will start his cycle on Saturday June 10.
In 35 days, he aims to cover 4,500km of mountain trail from Canada to the Mexican border, facing extremes in temperature from below zero to the hot desert sun, as well as 3,500metre altitudes, loneliness and even possibly bears.
John,49, launched his training and fundraising last January, when he told the Leinster Express - read full article here - what would be his biggest difficulties.
“Hypothermia is the biggest danger,” he said, adding that the mental challenge will be “hugely tough”.
“I am experienced in ultra endurance, but it will be so isolated,” he said.
At the launch, he set himself the challenge to raise a target of €10,000 for Laois Hospice, but thanks to the great public response to his fundraisers, that target has been met and smashed, already at €12,000 before he even starts. Fundraisers included 8 hour stationary cycles in Laois Shopping Centre, and a headshave by brave Port woman Yvonne McEvoy in the Anvil Inn.
John has also trained relentlessly, last weekend cycling for three days in the Wicklow mountains.
Follow his adventure through updates on his facebook page True Fitness here.
"Rocky Mountain Cycle. No turning back now. Thanks so much for all your support and well wishes. I will keep you updated as often as I can," a brave John posted before he departed.
He has received huge support from all over Laois and nationwide, and particularly from his wife Margaret, herself a fitness fan.
"Safe travels John, good luck on your great adventure and may you always arrive safely in the right place at the right time," she posted online.
Online donations can be made via a PayPal link on www.laoishospice.ie, just namecheck Rocky Mountain Cycle when making payment.