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Cycling duo take on French challenge for research into pancreatic cancer

5 May 2015

Seventy-five-year-old cyclist, Iain Ross, from Dornoch, is embarking on a marathon cycle ride through France with his son Malcolm, to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.

Setting off on 7 May 2015, the route will take them from Calais in the north of France, down the centre of the country and will finish on 21 May 2015, just over the Spanish border in Rosas, a total of around 840 miles.

But while Malcolm and his dad got together to plan their route, the pair have had to undertake their training separately as Malcolm lives hundreds of miles away in Didcot, Oxfordshire.

“I’m really looking forward to spending some time with my dad. He lives a long way away so it’s often difficult to find time to spend together,” says Malcolm.  “I’m pretty nervous too, though – I’m struggling to fit in time for training, whereas dad might do 30-40 miles in a day.”

The pair are experienced long distance cyclists, having completed the Land’s End to John O’Groats route in 2012, and a coast-to-coast ride across Scotland the following year.

This ride will be undertaken to raise funds for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund (PCRF) in memory of Charles Falconer, a friend of Iain’s and fellow Scottish Country dancing enthusiast, who died in 2013.

 “Charles was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on the same day that Malcolm and I set off on our Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle ride,” says Iain. “He was my friend, but also a businessman, like Malcolm, so it seemed right that we choose this charity.”

With an average of 60 miles per day to complete during the challenge, Malcolm says he is hoping to be able to keep pace with his dad.

“Dad was 72 when we did the Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle and I thought that would be a tough challenge,” he says. “But he led the way and I’m expecting him to do the same as we cycle through France. We are thinking about what our next challenge might be – it will depend on dad’s health but also on whether I make it through France at all!” 

Father and son Malcolm (left) and Iain Ross

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