Harrogate dad's cycle from Paris to Geneva in bid to end child neglect

Ian Clarkson is ready and raring for July! Picture: Adrian Murray
Ian Clarkson is ready and raring for July! Picture: Adrian Murray
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A Harrogate dad-of-two is preparing for his ‘biggest challenge ever’ when he will cycle 380 miles from Paris to Geneva in a bid to end child neglect.

Pannal Sports Junior Football Coach, Ian Clarkson, will join riders in the four day race from the Eiffel Tower to the Jet d’Eau on July 29 - August 3.

But Ian, a former teacher and dad-of-two boys is less bothered about winning the race, and more interested in just completing it in a bid to raise £2,000 for child neglect charity, NSPCC.

He said: “I’ve got two boys, a 12-year-old and an 8-year-old , my wife is a teacher at Rossett and I coach at Pannal Sports FC so children are a big part of our lives, we are surrounded by them.

“When you start looking into the work the NSPCC do it’s fantastic so anything I can do to help them is a privilege.

He added: “I wanted to do something that people would think that is a big challenge and a worthy cause.

“It’s certainly the biggest thing I have ever done.”

Each day of the race riders will have to cycle 90 miles, taking on the biggest climb - the Col de la Faucille - on the final day.

The nearly 13,000ft high French mountain has featured a number of times in the route of the Tour de France, but in August, it will be Ian and the other cyclists who will climb to its peak before descending across the border into Geneva.

In the harsh winter months Ian has been using a computer simulation programme and indoor bike to recreate the incline and distance conditions he will face over the four days.

But with the weather starting to brighten up, he’s determined to get a real feel for cycling under the beating sun.

He said: “My 8-year-old is a great motivator, he shouts ‘go faster, work harder!’, so he keeps me going.

“My wife has been a great support too, organising fundraising events , I couldn’t have asked for any more help really.”

But there will be even more motivation to come for Ian, as his wife and two boys will fly out on the day of his last leg, to meet him at the finishing line.

Ian has raised nearly £1,500 so far for NSPCC but is still short of his £2,000 target,

To donate go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ian-clarkson3