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Headteacher raises money for charity

The headteacher of a North Yorkshire prep school swapped her car for a bike during half term to raise hundreds of pounds for charity.

Jane Merriman, headteacher at Belmont Grosvenor School, spent three days tackling the 170-mile Way of the Roses cycle route from Morecambe to Bridlington.

Battling strong winds, driving rain and cold temperatures, Jane and her husband Tony completed the coast to coast route and raised £500 for national charity the Alzheimer’s Society.

Jane said:

It was an incredibly tough three days, but at the end of the ride I felt not only a great sense of personal achievement for having completed the challenge, but real pleasure at having raised money for such a worthwhile cause.

A keen cyclist, Jane decided to tackle the 170-mile ride – the longest she had ever attempted – in memory of her father who died last year and had suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease.

Training for the ride began in earnest at Easter, with Jane and her husband spending weekends and evenings completing long endurance rides and shorter 20-mile circuits to build up their fitness.

After setting off from Morecambe, the pair were in the saddle for eight hours on the first day, before finally completing the first 62-miles of the challenging cycle route into Pateley Bridge.

This was the toughest day of the three-day event, with Jane and Tony tackling climbs of up to 1200 ft, followed by some steep descents into Nidderdale.

Day two saw Jane, who has been headteacher at Belmont Grosvenor School for the past eight years, tackle 46 miles, from Pateley Bridge to York, before completing the final 62 miles of the coast to coast route on day three.

Jane said:

We had hoped that the weather would have been good at the end of May, but it was one of the coldest and wettest half terms we’ve had. Raising money for a cause so close to my heart kept my mind focused on completing the route.

Staff, parents and friends at Belmont Grosvenor, based at Swarcliffe Hall, Birstwith, have helped her raise £500 for the Alzheimer’s Society – and Jane is already planning her next adventure.

I’d quite like to tackle the Coast and Castles route between Newcastle and Edinburgh in the summer – hopefully the weather would be a little kinder to us!

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