Nine riders, six days, 876 miles, one great cause.

This is a blog about the fast six day Land’s End to John o’ Groats ride that I am taking part in later in June (21st to 26th June 2009). It’s in support of the Bishop Simeon Trust who do vital work in South Africa dealing with the social and economic effects of the AIDS/HIV pandemic. There is a link on the site which gives more information about the charity and the work it does, I will also be posting more on this throughout the blog myself.

I would be very grateful for any support that you are able to give me and the charity. This ‘about’ page provides lots of information to make this as easy for you as possible! Apologies in advance if you have already received this appeal in several formats (email, Facebook, bloglink, tweet etc) – we’re circulating it as widely as possible to make it easy for people to help us spread the the word in their chosen medium. And it’s not just online – if you are interested we have a variety of flyers, sponsorship forms, posters and more information on the work of the Bishop Simeon Trust. Please contact Bryony if you would like any of these via email or paper copies/posters mailed to anyone. If you’ve already donated money, but are able to circulate this information further for us, a double thank you very much from us both!

Bryony and I are writing about our experiences training for, raising funds and riding this event on this new blog. As well as accounts of training and riding the event, I’m posting stories about previous rides both here and abroad; I hope you will like them. We will also keep you updated on the blog throughout the ride as the TRATers progress up the country. Bryony will be adding stories about the campaigning and fundraising side of things (and perhaps telling the cycling widow’s side of things too).

What can you do to help?

If you are able to make a donation to support me, I would be very grateful. Every donation made is another incentive for me to get out and train and is a huge motivation for me to complete the race. It’s going to be a very hard six days, harder than any other physical effort I have undertaken, so your support will be an invaluable part of what gets me through it – I won’t want to let you down. I have a target of £2000 and it would be great to get as near as possible to this total before I set off on 21st of June. So far we have raised nearly £300 from one event and without asking anyone officially, but this is my main funding request. If you’ve been hearing about TRAT from Bryony and I for ages and have been meaning to sponsor me, now’s the time to do it!

My JustGiving page can be found here:

http://www.justgiving.com/iain_houston or http://tinyurl.com/IHTRAT

If you prefer not to give online, we can provide you with a sponsorship slip for you to send it back to us with a cheque. If you would like to collect cash and cheques on behalf of a group (which would be great) we would be very happy to provide you with a sponsorship form and any publicity information you may require.

If you would like to pledge money and send it after the ride has actually been completed, please let us know the amount you are pledging so that we can add it to the running total. We will need to collect the money by the end of July at the latest.

Two very important points to note while thinking about your donation are:
• This is a supported ride with assistance being provided by volunteers – all costs have already been met by the riders themselves and a corporate sponsor, so you can be assured that every penny of sponsorship you provide goes direct to the charity.
• I’m pledging not to undertake any more sponsored events and won’t be asking you for sponsorship again!

This page is designed to be read by as many people as possible – feel free to circulate it widely on my behalf. The tinyurl link to this ‘About’ page is: http://tinyurl.com/ICHTRATBLOG

We can also provide you with a poster/flyer called Appeal for Sponsorship. Feel free to print this out for your local bike shop or anywhere that might help us reach more sponsors.

If you’ve got a blog and/or a website of your own I would be very grateful if you could link to my blog and maybe make a brief mention of what I am up to. The blog and JustGiving links have all been made ‘tiny’ for easy Tweeting, Facebook status posting etc.

If you think your company might be interested in this idea, in exchange for a suitable donation we are offering to arrange a display of Medieval Fight Club for a corporate party or team building event. Medieval Fight Club is a history-based show that can be tailored to suit the needs of a business client or an educational show for children.

Alternately, if your company or any other organisation would like to donate goods and/or services, we are holding an auction following TRAT to raise more funds. Donations to date have included restaurant vouchers (from Nandos), bike kit (from Putney Cycles), books (from Murdoch Books) and taxi rides (from GreenTomatoCars). All corporate donors will be mentioned on the Auction page at the top of this blog.

If you have a company intranet site or BUG and it’s appropriate to do so, please circulate the Appeal for Sponsorship flyer or request a sponsor form to collect money for TRAT.

For more details on Medieval Fight Club, to make a corporate donation or if you know of any companies who you think would be interested in any of the above, please contact Bryony at: bevens at murdochbooks dot co dot uk We have various materials aimed at raising corporate donations which we can send you or to a company contact direct.

Auction & Party
As a massive thank you to all those who have taken part in supporting me during TRAT, we will be holding another Medieval Barbeque (as a bring and share party) and holding an auction of all the goods and services donated.

The BBQ will be on Saturday 1st August 2009 at our home in Kingston-upon-Thames. The BBQ will start from 1pm, with a show from Medieval Fight Club beginning at 2pm and finishing just after 4pm – a children’s activity will be incorporated. The auction will be at 6pm and we have a great auctioneer lined up.

Swordfighting lessons and tandem tryouts will be available for a donation to TRAT. Auctionable items (Bryony is donating her rollerblades!) will be gratefully received. It would be great to know about them in advance so we can keep the Auction page up to date. Feel free to invite as many of your friends as you like but please could everyone RSVP to Bryony: bevens at murdochbooks dot co dot uk for full details and to obtain the address.

Thank you in advance for all support you are able to give and we hope to see you at the barbecue.

Best wishes

Iain & Bryony


8 responses to “About

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  4. I am doing Lejog in ten days in July in aid on MNR but six days your truly mad and I salute your herculean effort .

    Fair winds great strength!!

    • Thanks!

      Good luck with yours too! I did a solo JoGLE last year in just over 12 days so it’s going to be challenging in six (we do have the advantage of the group and some great support though)

  5. Hi Iain,

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and being so generous with your time – surely you have enough to do at the moment?!?

    Such generosity, from you and Bryony, is proving inspirational.

    It goes without saying that Rachel and I will be supporting (and promoting) your efforts whenever we can.


    • I really like the idea of what you are doing, I think it will prove a very effective method of campaigning – I’ll have lots of spare time after the Marmotte!

  6. Pingback: Beating the Bounds « Living Adventurously

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