On their bikes for charity as pair prepare for London to Paris ride to boost Macmillan Cancer Support

Sharon Hartley (left) and Ann Boardman  preparing for their charity bike ride
Sharon Hartley (left) and Ann Boardman preparing for their charity bike ride
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An intrepid duo who say they’ve never cycled further than to the pub in Churchtown together have set themselves a 234 mile international challenge - to cycle from London to Paris.

Sharon Hartley says it as “a mid life crisis” that led them to take on such a demanding exploit.

But behind her jocular remark lies a commitment to boost the funds of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Sharon, a secretary from Claughton on Brock and friend office manager Ann Boardman from Catterall decided the charity should benefit from their challenge after learning that Jenny Jost, wife of Sharon’s colleague Dave, had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and was receiving help from Macmillan Cancer Support.

“Jenny’s story inspired us, Since we started fund raising we have realised how many people are affected by cancer and how many are cared for by and think so highly of Macmillan.”

Dave “a good friend and work colleague” has worked for Parkinson and Hartley Ltd building and joinery manufacturers of Claughton on Brock for nearly 30 years and, says Sharon been “a big part of our company.”

The cycle ride is organised through a company called Charity and Challenge.

Sharon said: ”We are not keen cyclists, but we soon will be..... biking from London to Paris on 4th-7th September 2015 - a total of 234 miles over 3 days - is nothing short of terrifying. It’s a huge challenge and one we are in training for now.”

Sharon, 41, has three children, James,14, Ella,11 and Nathan 6, and said: “They think their mum is crazy.”

Meanwhile Ann, mother of Thomas, 14, and Oliver,9, who works at The Wyrebank, is a veteran of the New York Marathon and can call on her experience - some 20 years ago - of once cycling from Canberra to Sydney for charity. Sharon and Ann are now in Week Four of their training schedule and are seeking sponsorship. She said: “to show our commitment to Macmillan Cancer Support 80% of our fund raising target needs to be given to them before the end of June 2015. So, as well as our training, our drive to hit our target of £4,000.00 begins NOW!”

Both ladies have signed up for spinning and - what Sharon says is the aptly named “insanity classes” at the YMCA gym at Garstang Leisure Centre: ”It’s like a crazy hour of exercise where you sweat a lot and can’t breathe but it’s brilliant and to really good music.”

To support the duo see https://www.justgiving.com/TeamShazzAnn/ and check the Garstang Courier for updates on fundraising events,