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Finley, 10, inspired by others to cycle 200 miles for NHS charities

PUBLISHED: 14:55 18 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:55 18 May 2020

Finley MacFarlane and father Ian reach the Blickling Estate on their 60-mile cycle. Picture: Ian MacFarlane

Finley MacFarlane and father Ian reach the Blickling Estate on their 60-mile cycle. Picture: Ian MacFarlane

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With schools closed to the majority of students and social distancing preventing children from meeting their friends, kids across Norfolk and beyond have been left with little to do.

Finley MacFarlane and father Ian reach Wroxham on their 60-mile cycle. Picture: Ian MacFarlaneFinley MacFarlane and father Ian reach Wroxham on their 60-mile cycle. Picture: Ian MacFarlane

One 10-year-old has decided to put his spare time to good use by setting out on a 200-mile cycling challenge in the hope of raising money for the NHS.

Finley MacFarlane, from Hethersett, was inspired to take on the task after hearing about others doing their bit to help in news reports and through seeing his mother working on the frontline as a nurse.

He has given himself a two-week window to complete the challenge by cycling with his father Ian.

Mr MacFarlane said: “He’s very aware of his surroundings – we try not to shelter him too much, apart from anything really horrible, so he’s always in the know about what’s going on.

Finley MacFarlane and father Ian reach Coltishall on their 60-mile cycle. Picture: Ian MacFarlaneFinley MacFarlane and father Ian reach Coltishall on their 60-mile cycle. Picture: Ian MacFarlane

“He saw another lad doing a cycling challenge and also saw Captain Tom Moore raising millions by doing laps of his garden and I think he thought ‘well if he can do something then so can I’. We’re very proud.”

Finley has “always been an avid cyclist” and had already managed a 35-mile ride in the past despite his young age.

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Even so, his father admits he was a little surprised when his son declared his ambition to cover 200 miles in just two weeks.

Finley MacFarlane and father Ian completed a 60-mile cycle on Saturday, May 16. Picture: Ian MacFarlaneFinley MacFarlane and father Ian completed a 60-mile cycle on Saturday, May 16. Picture: Ian MacFarlane

“We encouraged him of course, because we didn’t want to put him off. I’m glad we did, because he’s smashed it so far.”

Finley began his challenge on Saturday, May 16, getting off to the perfect start by eclipsing his personal best to cover just over 60 miles in a gruelling seven-hour ride, which saw the father and son duo pass through Norwich, Wroxham, Aylsham and Reepham.

Mr MacFarlane said: “We set off at around half past seven in the morning and didn’t get back until the afternoon.

“He’d never been anywhere near that far before, and I remember him being surprised when he saw we were all the way up in Aylsham.

“We did another 13 miles on Sunday and the plan is to do around 10 miles every evening until we get to the target.”

Finley has already beaten his £100 target, but hopes to raise as much money as possible for NHS Charities Together.

To donate, visit Joanna MacFarlane’s JustGiving page.


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