A Doncaster resident is to take on the first ever ‘Triple China Challenge’ to raise funds for research into rare lung disease.
Bill Farley, aged 47, of Barber Close in Armthorpe, set off to the Orient on Sunday, together with 13 teammates, to complete a never-before attempted challenge for the British Lung Foundation.
The adventure will see them complete two half marathons, 155km of cycling, and two days trekking on the Great Wall of China over six days.
For the grand finale the team will cross the finish line in the Beijing Olympic Stadium. They have raised £20,000 to date.
The challenge has been organised by Bill’s colleague and charity campaigner Amanda Evans, who decided to take it on in honour of her father, former MP David John Evans, who died from the lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in 2008.
So far, Amanda has raised over £100,000 for the British Lung Foundation through other challenges.
And Bill’s father-in-law, Don Burns, had the lung condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – so when he heard Amanda was raising money for the BLF he jumped at the chance to take part.
Bill said: “You don’t really know how lung disease can affect your life until you are confronted with it.
“My father-in-law had COPD so this is something that really is close to my heart.
“I think Amanda has been inspiring in her efforts to raise money and awareness of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and I am proud to be a part of the challenge.”
Bill, who keeps his fitness levels up by playing rugby for Doncaster Phoenix, has lost a stone in weight through his three months of training but is looking forward to the whole experience.
He said: “It’s a once in a lifetime thing, it’s not every day you get to go to China.
“It’s going to be a long eight days, getting up and getting everybody ready every day.
“I’m not getting any younger but it’s not a sprint, and we will encourage each other.
“I’m not out to beat any world records, the one thing I have found when training is to just go steady.
“I’m going to go slow and steady, nothing too extravagant, just concentrating on the goal ahead.”