Coast-to-coast cycle is latest adventure for Bay Hospitals Charity fundraiser

A prolific supporter of Bay Hospitals Charity who has raised thousands of pounds through a series of sponsored adventures has completed his latest challenge.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 12:30 pm

Ian Mercer led a group of 19 cyclists aged 16 to 64 who rode from coast-to-coast last weekend in support of Bay Hospitals Charity.

He said: “It was brilliant – it couldn’t have gone any better, and everybody enjoyed finishing in Morecambe and being able to cycle home at the end.

“All of them are absolutely amazing people and they all get on so well.”

The coast-to-coast team at the finish in Morecambe.

Just one week before tackling the coast-to-coast, Ian completed the Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge, a 48-mile run over 30 summits from Pooley Bridge to Greendale Bridge near Wasdale.

Finishing just outside the 15-hour time limit, he still got chance to meet legendary fell runner Joss at the finish line.

Ian was inspired to raise funds for Lancaster’s Coronary Care Unit after losing three close family members – mother-in-law Audrey Ingle, Uncle Tony Bowker and mum Margaret Mercer in 2007.

Since then he has been a tireless fund-raiser for Bay Hospitals Charity and involved dozens of friends and family members in his adventures, raising more than £60,000.

Achievements include the annual coast-to-coast bike ride, four completions of the national three peaks challenge (cycling between the three mountains) and cycling the length of the Pyrenees from the Atlantic coast to the Mediterranean along the French and Spanish border. He cycled from Land’s End to John o’Groats, with five friends and support crew, stopping on the way to run up and down Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis, completing the entire journey in less than five days. And in 2012 he marked Olympic year by completing five challenges for the five Olympic rings - marathons in London, Lancaster and Windermere, the Yorkshire Three Peaks race, and the national Three Peaks (cycling inbetween) in 46 hours.

When not running or cycling, Ian works at Lancaster University where he is a physics research engineer involved in developing the Large Hadron Collider.

Ian said: “I couldn’t do everything I do without the support and understanding of my wife Angela, daughter Alex and son Sam, who help me to organise our events along with our friends Chris and Debbie Baxter, Russell Stephenson, Jeanette Hancock and David Adair.

"It’s not just about me, it’s about having the right support and backing behind you to help everyone achieve, which we are so lucky to have."

Funds raised by Ian’s adventures are split between the Coronary Care Unit at Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Lancaster charity Animal Care.

Ian is already planning his next round of charity adventures, including next year’s coast-to-coast, cycling through the Alps from Geneva to Nice and another attempt at the Joss Naylor Challenge.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust Non-Executive Director Adrian Leather said: “It’s exhausting just thinking about all of Ian’s adventures, never mind actually completing them!

“His dedication to Bay Hospital’s Charity is incredible and a wonderful tribute to the lost loved-ones who have inspired Ian since 2007.

“Thank you and well done to Ian and his friends, family and supporters.”

Bay Hospitals Charity funds the latest equipment for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust to help make patients more comfortable and ensure they get the best possible care and treatment. To donate and support your local NHS hospital, contact Bay Hospitals Charity on 01524 516064 or visit www.bayhospitalscharity.org

To donate to Ian’s coast-to-coast fund-raising effort, contact him at [email protected]