Sandy electrician powers up to take on London Classics charity challenge

PUBLISHED: 13:56 21 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:10 21 October 2017

Ricky Byrne from Sandy with his wife Kelly and children Frankie, nine, Ronnie, eight, and Joycie, five, after he completed the Great North Run. Picture: Ricky Byrne

Ricky Byrne from Sandy with his wife Kelly and children Frankie, nine, Ronnie, eight, and Joycie, five, after he completed the Great North Run. Picture: Ricky Byrne

Archant

A Sandy electrician is set to cover more than 150 miles through London during a set of fundraising challenges on foot, on his bike and in the water.

Ricky Byrne running the Sandy 10 in aid of the National Autistic Society earlier this year. Photo: Sally Jones Ricky Byrne running the Sandy 10 in aid of the National Autistic Society earlier this year. Photo: Sally Jones

Ricky Byrne, 33, will run the capital’s Big Half and London Landmarks Half Marathon before taking on London Classics trio of events – the London Marathon, the RideLondon-Surrey 100 cycle event and the two-mile Swim Serpentine challenge.

Ricky, who trains at Biggleswade Athletic Club, hopes his efforts will raise £2,000 to support charity Ambitious About Autism – a cause close to his heart as two of his three children are on the autistic spectrum.

He told the Comet: “After completing the London Marathon this year, my first marathon, I felt a bit empty – like I’d achieved what I’d set out to do, but had nothing to look forward to or train for.

“Then my nan passed away, and I lost my way until the Great North Run. I felt like a reset button had been pushed.”

Ricky achieved a personal best of two hours and 21 minutes in last month’s Great North Run, and resolved to push on from there to his mammoth 2018 challenge – starting with the Big Half in March.

He has raised more than £5,000 for the National Autistic Society this year, and next year he is switching to the smaller charity Ambitious About Autism.

“Autism is something we live with daily with my kids Ronnie and Joycie,” said Ricky.

“I’m one of about 15 runners for Ambitious About Autism, so small compared to the charity I ran for this year with more than 200 runners. I felt these guys needed my support more.”

Ricky decided to take on the cycle and swim challenges after being prompted by the London Marathon organisers – and will receive a special London Classics medal if he completes all three.

Ricky Byrne from Sandy with his London Marathon medal this year. Picture: Ricky Byrne Ricky Byrne from Sandy with his London Marathon medal this year. Picture: Ricky Byrne

After the Big Half and London Landmarks Half Marathon in March next year, Ricky will run the London Marathon in April. He will then take on the RideLondon-Surrey 100 in July before the Serpentine Swim in September.

His wife Kelly is joining the fundraising by entering the two half marathons as well.

Ricky was inspired to start running in late 2015 after having a recurring nightmare about something chasing him. He had been seriously out of shape.

If you’d like to support Ricky’s fundraising, see justgiving.com/conqueringlondon.

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