Fundraising events have been announced by a Portarlington fitness instructor who will cycle 4,500 kilometres across America’s Rocky Mountains to raise funds for the Laois Hospice.
John Bolton will cycle alone for 15 hours each day covering 150 kilometres per day beginning in Banff Canada and ending in Antelope Wells New Mexico, 35 days later. His only form of communication with the outside world will be a satellite phone and he will carry everything that he needs to survive the wilderness and the varying temperatures.
While cycling for over a month in complete isolation John expects to encounter lots of wildlife during his ultra-fitness test including Cougars, Mountain Lions, Grizzly Bears, Brown Bears and Moose among them.
He is appealing to people to get behind him and to make donations to the Laois Hospice.
Three fundraising events will take place before John sets off on Saturday 10 June.
On Friday 21 April at 8.30pm a quiz night will take place at the Anvil Inn in Portarlington. Tables of four will cost €40. A bucket collection will take place in Supervalu in Portarlington on Friday and Saturday 5/6 May.
The last of the fundraising events will take place in the Laois Shopping Centre in Portlaoise on Saturday 20 May where Mr Bolton will endure an eight hour static cycle on a stationary bicycle beginning at 10am.
For over 15 years John has been fundraising for the hospice raising in excess of €90,000 during that time. He hopes to raise at least €10,000 from this mammoth challenge to bring his total to over €100,000.
Two years ago he kayaked around Ireland with his business partner at True Fitness in Portarlington Dr Diane Cooper. She is a researcher in exercise, physiology, nutrition and metabolism, a lecturer in Athlone Institute of Technology and holds a BSc in sports science.
John takes up the story.
“There was a 700 kilometre race over six days in the Rockies 15 years ago that I wanted to do. I couldn’t get anyone to do it with me though. I spotted this 4,500 kilometre trail across the Rockies four years ago and told my business partner Dr Diane Cooper that I wanted to do it. She has been very supportive to me and has put a lot of work and research into the nutrition, metabolism and sports science end of things over a long period of time. I have been training extremely hard for a long time too and just can’t wait to get going.
“The Laois Hospice is a wonderful charity which depends on donations. The service that it provides to people who may be in their darkest hour is second to none. The people who run it are the kindest people that you could wish to meet. It is comforting for people to know that such a service is there for us all should we ever need it.
“Although I will meet a lot of wild animals the biggest challenge that I face is hypothermia. The temperatures will alternate between below zero and plus 40 Celsius. When I camp up for the night I will have to hang my food 10 feet in the air and away from my tent. If I kept it in or around the tent I could wake up to grizzly bears. I will write on my blog from time to time as I encounter small villages to keep people up to date on how things are going.”
The blog is available on www.truefitness.ie.
People can donate on www.laoishospice.ie and clicking on the donate button using the Rocky Mountain Cycle reference.