Veteran cyclist Geoff Gilford has pounded out 106 miles of gruelling terrain on Dartmoor to raise funds for the Joe Gilligan Trust.
Though a lifelong cycling enthusiast, the Assistant Site Manager at St Joseph’s College in Trent Vale only took up the endurance sport seriously a year ago and has now taken on his toughest challenge yet.
On Sunday, June 26, he competed in the Dartmoor Classic, a world-renowned race for cycling enthusiasts attracting 2,500 entries from top amateur two-wheelers all over the world.
Lithe and muscular, Geoff has been hitting the roads throughout the spring and summer and churned out over 160 miles a week in preparation for the Dartmoor Classic.
Speaking ahead of the race, he said: “It’s not going to be easy. It’s very tough track as you go up and down a lot, but the sense of achievement will I hope be worthwhile.”
Geoff, from Penkhull, who took part in the race with his brother, John, is hoping to raise at least £1,400 for the Joe Gilligan Trust. The popular 20-year-old, who died of a malignant brain tumour in September 2009, was the son of St Joseph’s College Key Stage 4 coordinator and music teacher Craig Gilligan from Meir Park, who said: “Geoff, like all the staff and pupils at St Joseph’s, has been remarkably supportive. I can’t speak highly enough of the man that he should put himself through so much physical pain to remember Joe.”
Geoff said: “Joe’s death touched everyone at the school. He was a great lad – happy, polite and full of life and it is an honour to raise money in his name.”
The Joe Gilligan Trust has already raised £50,000 for research into teenage cancer.