Carol cycles Everest in dad’s memory

Cyclist Carol Lawson plans to make her Everesting attempt on September 13 in memory of her dad.

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Cyclist Carol Lawson is taking on an uphill challenge of Everest proportions in memory of her dad.

The 55-year-old member of North Argyll Cycle Club is about to cycle up and down the same hill near Oban enough times to equal the height of Everest.

Carol, who works at Lochgilphead Library and lives in Ardrishaig, is hoping September 13 will be the day when she embarks on the mission that could take up to 18 hours to complete – weather depending.

It will see her cycle up and back down Glensallach Hill about 80 times – the equivalent of 8,848ms (130 miles).

Everesting has become a popular pastime with cyclists worldwide in the absence of races and sportive events during lockdown but the challenge has a more poignant meaning for Carol whose dad John Willis died from cancer in July.

She shares her dad’s love of cycling, inspired by his tales of 100-mile time trials and races in the 1950s when he once came second to the legendary Tommy Simpson, one of Britain’s most successful professional cyclists.

As a thank you to the kind nurses who cared for John, Carol has already raised more than £1,250 for Macmillan Cancer Support through her Justgiving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/carol-lawson8848

‘I won’t be beating any world records for Everesting, but I’ll give it my best shot for my dad. I’ll be happy just to achieve it,’ said Carol who is hoping friends from her cycling club will show up to give support.

‘They’ve been brilliant so far. I’ve really appreciated their great support and hope some will come along on the day to cycle a few of the hours with me. The mental challenge  will be as much as the physical challenge. I didn’t imagine it would be so hard.

‘I like hilly cycles but going up hill on a bike for as long at this will be out of the range.

‘I’m hoping there will be a tail-wind on the day and that it doesn’t rain the whole time. if the weather is so bad, I’ll have to postpone it for a week but I’m planning for September 13,’ she said.

The track that leads from the Bonawe road after Connel Bridge over the top to Barcaldine is single-track and a bit rough but there is not much traffic and all in all is ‘pretty good’, added Carol who will be fuelling up on her ride with flapjacks and pasties.

‘It should be a fun kind of day,’ she said.