24-hour cycling challenge raises more than £2,300 for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity

A nurse from Royal Preston Hospital and her partner have raised more than £2,300 for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity after completing a daunting 24-hour virtual cycling challenge.

Lizzie Coates and Aaron Denver, from Penwortham, pedalled 420 miles between them in a single round-the-clock effort in their garage from 10am last Saturday.

During their ride, using the virtual cycling platform Zwift, the couple received a virtual ‘thumbs-up’ from Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, who was the inspiration behind the challenge. Last year the Welsh cycling legend completed a series of three indoor 12-hour rides to match NHS shift patterns.

Lizzie, who works in the Emergency Department at Royal Preston Hospital, said: “We had so much support. Because we were riding on Zwift there were people from all over the world cheering us on and making donations.

“We knew it was going to be hard, but at about 6am we both hit a wall. Physically Aaron was OK, but mentally he was tired. I was just physically exhausted. I think this will be a once in a lifetime challenge!

“Aaron rode the final three hours because he was determined to do more than 400 miles, and two of his friends joined him online to support.

“We’re really happy because we raised a lot more than we thought, and donations are still coming in so hopefully we can get it to £2,500.”

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity raises vital funds to ensure hospitals in Preston and Chorley are equipped with the very latest in technology, enabling vital research and making patients and their families more comfortable.

Paula Wilson, Head of Charities and Fundraising at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity, said: “We’re so proud of Lizzie and Aaron for completing this inspirational challenge.

“They showed amazing determination to keep going even when things got tough and they should be proud of the huge distance they covered as well as their fantastic fund-raising total.”

There is still time to donate to Lizzie and Aaron’s fund-raising total at https://www.gofundme.com/f/liz-aarons-24-hour-cycle