A Bath resident has cycled around Britain to mark 50 years since his father’s death from cancer, and to raise money for the national cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support.
On Sunday 11th October, Ian McKay returned to Bath after completing a 2,650-mile cycle around the perimeter of Britain – the equivalent of cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats three times.
Ian achieved this epic feat in 40 days, cycling solo with no support vehicle. The challenge formed part of his ultimate challenge of cycling over 5,000 miles in 2020 for the cancer charity, which he has now exceeded, having clocked up nearly 6,000 miles so far this year.
He was inspired to take to the saddle in memory of his father who died in 1970, and his mother and adopted father, who he lost to cancer more recently.
Having initially planned to take on the challenge this April and May, Ian was forced to reschedule the ride due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was finally able to begin his adventure on 3rd September.
Ian’s route began and finished at the Royal United Hospital in Bath and included places of significance to his family including Sheffield, where he visited his father’s memorial, Nantwich in Cheshire, where his mother and adopted father lived for many years, and Lancaster University, where he completed his master’s degree and first met his wife.
Ian also stopped off at the most northerly, southerly, easterly and westerly points in Britain – Dunnet Head in Scotland, Lizard Point in Cornwall, Lowestoft Ness in Suffolk, and Ardnamurchan Point in Scotland. He also paid a visit to Macmillan’s Head Office in London.
So far, he has raised over £5,400 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Ian, who has been a resident of Bath for over 30 years, said: “The year 2020 marks the anniversary of my father’s passing 50 years ago, and my second father and my mother both also died from cancer. A great deal has changed in cancer care in the last 50 years, but I wanted to take up this challenge to raise awareness and to show my thanks for the cancer professionals and Macmillan who looked after my parents and showed such compassion to my family.”
Kaeti Morrison, Fundraising Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “Ian’s achievement is phenomenal, and a truly fitting tribute to his late father. I would like to thank Ian on behalf of Macmillan for his incredible commitment and for raising so much for people living with cancer.
“Macmillan is facing a huge drop in income due to the pandemic and we rely almost entirely on the generosity of supporters like Ian. His hard work and that of all our supporters means more now than ever before.”