Published: 16 January 2006 at 15:53
Anglia Ruskin University is sponsoring a member of its Alumni office and his best friend on the challenge of a lifetime - a 4,000 mile journey across the Australian outback on a bike - and it is all for the sake of charity.
Will Guest (31), an event organiser and fundraising assistant, is teaming up with Tristan Rees-White (30), a research student at Southampton University, in an attempt to cycle unaided across the Australian outback while raising funds for their chosen charity - The British Red Cross.
This test of strength and determination is the first stage in a series of challenges planned by the two from Danbury, known as the 'Capricorn Run'. These madly adventurous challenges are designed to enable a circumnavigation of the world loosely tracing the Tropic of Capricorn with an emphasis on non-motorised transport. Future challenges will see crossings of oceans in sailing crafts, hiking within the South American ranges, pony trekking in Africa and more.
The pair are hoping to complete the forthcoming 4,000+ mile journey across Australia in roughly three months and will be leaving England to commence training from the end of January 2006.
Sleeping under the stars by the side of the road, they plan to journey from Rockhampton on the North East Coast, via Katherine in the Red Centre, to Perth in the South West - which they hope to reach by early July.
Having participated in the London to Brighton Bike Ride, the World's Largest Bike Ride and other local bike events, the friends have some experience of cycling in the UK, but nothing will prepare them for the gruelling conditions they will face Down Under.
When asked why the pair should set themselves such a rigorous international challenge, Will replied:
Director of Marketing at Anglia Ruskin University, Alan Cain added:
Additional sponsors and supporters of the event include Bicycle Sports Pacific, Elan Lounge, Steve Poulter and the many family members and friends who have given generously to help the duo on their way.
The cycle partners kicked off their fund raising activities with an event at the Elan Lounge on Victoria Road. Dressed in tuxedoes, and Union Jack bowties, the pair outlined the details of the trip to the invited guests, who were invited to pledge their sponsorship and take part in the formal raffle and other money raising activities of the evening.
The next major fund raising event is a Fun Run in Chelmsford which is being planned for Sunday 19 March.
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis whoever and wherever they are. Part of the world's largest humanitarian network, the Red Cross aims to save lives and relieve human suffering - from large scale disasters to individual emergencies, both at home and overseas.