Cycling London to Edinburgh (and back!) for War Child

Sarah Hughes · 28 July 2022

Prospect senior digital organiser Sarah Hughes writes about a monumental cycling challenge that she is embarking upon, which also aims to raise money for one of our charity partners, War Child.

Sarah Hughes on the 600km route travelling northwards from Ullapool with views towards Stac Pollaidh

At the start of August, I will be cycling from London to Edinburgh and back to London again as part of an organised event.

In order to successfully complete the event I have to finish in 125 hours, that will be five full days of cycling, catching just a couple of hours sleep every night. The event organisers put on food and offer a place to sleep (a mattress in a village hall). All I have to do is keep pedalling until I get to the end!

I would like to use the event to raise money for War Child, a charity that Prospect supports, and I hope that my efforts can inspire you to donate generously to this cause. Your support and donations will give me some extra incentive to keep cycling when I feel like I can’t go any further and also make a difference to children whose lives have been torn apart by war.

On the 400km event cycling towards the Crask Inn, near Lairg, one of the most remote pubs in the UK

I have been training for the event, riding a sequence of longer and longer rides in order to get used to the distances. These events are arranged by Audax UK, the long-distance cycling association.

So far this year I have rode events of 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km. In Audax terms this makes me a Super Randonneur. The hardest one was the 400km ride as this took about 20 hours of riding (25 hours in total to finish) and was done without stopping to sleep.

This 400km route known as Hellfire Corner – starting near Inverness and travelling anti-clockwise

All of these events have been in Scotland and mostly in awful weather (high winds and heavy rain) so I am really hoping that the August weather will be warm and calm in comparison. The weather is not always terrible, and my photos always capture the nicer weather. When the weather allows a view, Scotland never disappoints and my rides have taken me to some of the most beautiful parts.

Although I have prepared, the London-Edinburgh-London ride is going to be a difficult challenge and there is every chance that I won’t finish in time (or at all!). The last time the event was run in 2017, out of 1600 entrants, only half of them finished in the allocated time.

War Child is striving for a world in which no child’s life is torn apart by war. They protect, educate and stand up for the rights of children living in war zones. There are thousands of children around the world whose lives have been turned upside down by conflict – they deserve better and your donation will be making a difference!