Geoff Gilford cycles 106 miles to raise money for the Joe Gilligan Trust

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.