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Five Norfolk women are ready for gruelling 350km Africa cycle challenge

Five women from across Norfolk are taking part in Cycle Africa to raise money for cancer charities.
Fiona Blundell, Jo Sayer, Nicola Green, Tracy Barrow.
Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Five women from across Norfolk are taking part in Cycle Africa to raise money for cancer charities. Fiona Blundell, Jo Sayer, Nicola Green, Tracy Barrow. Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Archant Norfolk

Hot temperatures, dirt roads and a 2,000m ascent climb awaits five women from Norfolk who will be embarking on a 216 mile cycle ride across Tanzania to raise money for three cancer charities.

Jo Sayer, from Taverham, Fiona Blundell from Spixworth, Tracy Barrow from Hethersett and mother and daughter Nicola and Sophie Green from Topcroft, did not know one another when they entered the Women v Cancer Cycle Africa challenge.

“In July 2014 I got a list of names through of the other 120 women from across the UK who are taking part in the challenge,” said Mrs Blundell, who works as a project manager for the deafblind charity Sense. “I looked through and saw four women were from Norfolk. We all spoke through a Facebook group and met at Dunston Hall in October. We’ve all just clicked; it’s a case of ‘my god I’ve got new friends.’”

The women fly out to Tanzania on October 9 and will start their five day challenge on October 11 at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, cycling an average of 45 plus miles per day for eight hours, before reaching the Ngorongoro Crater.

They need to raise a minimum of £3,000 to support charities Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action.

“My grandmother had ovarian cancer and died within weeks of being diagnosed,” said Mrs Green, who owns a mobile fish and chip catering service and will be joined by her 20-year-old daughter.

“My mother and I had hysterectomies because of that. I’m really looking forward to it as it will be a great experience and for me and Sophie to do it together.”

Mrs Barrow, a PA at Cobalt PFM limited, added: “My mum got diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago when I saw the poster for the event I signed up straight away. I have both ovarian and breast cancer in the family - my mum was lucky but others aren’t.”

Despite the gruelling challenge ahead, the women plan to enjoy the experience, and will be treated to a meal and night of entertainment by a Tanzanian tribe and will visit a school to drop off gifts.

“I’m really excited. You can’t even put it into words. You know its going to be a challenge,” said Jo Sayer, owner of JMA Hair and Beauty. “It’s going to change us all.”

The women will celebrate the end of their ride by treating themselves to a jeep safari before they sit down for a celebratory meal and drinks the night prior to flying home on October 17 - and begin planning their next cycle challenge together.

To sponsor the women, visit https://www.justgiving.com/Tracy-Barrow/

https://www.justgiving.com/Jo-Sayer1/

https://www.justgiving.com/FionaBlundell/

For more information about Cycle Africa, visit http://www.actionforcharity.co.uk/

Are you taking part in a charity challenge? Email rebecca.murphy@archant.co.uk


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