In late July 2020, I am embarking on what will be the hardest physical challenge of my life – the Transcontinental Race.
The Transcontinental Race (TCR) is the most famous bikepacking race in Europe. Starting on the Atlantic in Brest, France, I will cycle over 2,500 miles through at least 10 countries to the finish line in Burgas, Bulgaria on the Black Sea. I will only have 2 weeks to complete the race averaging roughly 200 miles a day. No 3rd party support, resupply or lodgings is allowed – I am totally self-reliant and I will have to depend on my wits and luck to get me to the finish line. Roughly, only 40% of participants make the finish line within the 2-week cut off. More details about the race at https://www.transcontinental.cc/
So why am I raising money for Cancer Research? In early 2018, one of my best friends – ex-flatmate, ex-colleague and fellow cycling nut – Dan Goode was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer.
This is his story:
“Between Christmas and New Year’s 2017 I went for a “routine” colonoscopy having first started seeing a gastroenterologist about an anomaly in my liver function test. The colonoscopy showed a tumour in my rectum. By 10th Jan 2018 I was diagnosed with Stage IV bowel cancel with secondary metastasis in my liver, 3 lymph nodes and potential further secondaries in my lungs. I have always been a numbers person and the latest numbers I can find tell me the 5 year survival rate for Stage IV bowel cancer is 11%. I intend to be in that 11%.
“As the full story of my condition emerged I was told that if the treatment worked the best I could hope for was 18 months to 2 years. I have now made it to 2 years post diagnosis! Being the geek I am I worked out based on the potential outcomes and likelihoods of diagnosis I should have died on May 12 2019. I didn’t, instead I watched Newcastle play with my friend Alan. Newcastle won that day, away from home, in London, on the last day of the season. So miracles really do happen! I haven’t given up the fight yet!
“In the run up to the diagnosis I have to say 2017 was the best year of my life. My daughter Emilia entered our lives on 22 Dec 2016 and I can honestly say she has been the most amazing gift, every day spent with her since she arrived has been incredible. I started a new job, which I love, working for a great company, with great people. I have the most amazing wife I could ever have asked for and a truly awesome bunch of friends. I was blessed and I knew it.
“As ever, I am proud to support Cancer Research. I have already had my life extended by a breakthrough in treatment onto something that didn’t exist when I was diagnosed. I hope these breakthroughs continue for me, and if not for me so some other family can at some point be spared the absolute devastation that a cancer diagnosis brings.”
Dan is still fighting hard, and he and I would be honoured if you could donate to Cancer Research in any small way you feel you can. Joss x