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Former vicar, 85, raises thousands cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats

PUBLISHED: 16:12 02 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:35 03 October 2018

Peter Lanford celebrates reaching the finish line after 28 days cycling. Photo: Margaret Evans.

Peter Lanford celebrates reaching the finish line after 28 days cycling. Photo: Margaret Evans.

Archant

A retired vicar turned charity cyclist has raised £17,000 after completing an epic ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats at the age of 85.

Peter Lanford iss relieved to reach John O’Groats after more than 1,100 miles. Photo: Margaret Evans.Peter Lanford iss relieved to reach John O’Groats after more than 1,100 miles. Photo: Margaret Evans.

Peter Langford, from Beccles, cycled 1,147 miles in 28 days to raise the money which will be shared between three charities.

This is the third time Mr Langford has completed the mammoth challenge – having done so aged 75 and 80.

And his latest adventure brings his total money raised to £55,000.

The cyclist admitted sections of the journey, which he began on his 85th birthday in August, proved challenging but he was constantly spurred on by those who donated.

He said: “The money is still coming in and it might be quite a bit more. It’s lovely to see and it was very encouraging as I was going along.

“I would just keep thinking every mile I do is £10 – that encouraged me as I went, especially during the more difficult sections.”

Of the money raised £10,000 will go to Doctors without Borders – which sends medical aid to conflict zones and countries across the globe impacted by disease.

The remaining money will help charities closer to home; Friends of St Michael’s church will receive £3,000 and £4,000 will go to Ringsfield Hall Trust.

Mr Langford set up the Ringsfield Hall Trust Eco Study Centre with his late wife, Sally, in 1971 to offer accommodation to school children, church groups and families from urban areas to come and experience rural life.

And the money will go towards installing solar panels for the hall.

With three country-length journeys under his belt Mr Langford said he won’t be taking on the challenge again in five years time.

“I think in a sense I was very stupid to do it but I’m glad that I did”, Mr Langford said, “Devon was the hardest part because of all the steep ups and downs, and I planned two of my longest rides there.”

He added: “It’s very gratifying knowing all the money will be going to different but good causes.

“I’m grateful rather than proud of myself; grateful to be able to do it and have the strength to do it.”

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