Peterson poised for prolonged pedal
A rugby referee is to undertake a gruelling 2,500km cycle ride around Britain in seven days later this month to raise funds for a cancer charity that was associated with the late Scotland and Lions prop Tom Smith.
Tom, the former Scotland captain and a member of Scottish Rugby’s Hall of Fame, died from bowel cancer in April. He was just 50.
Now Andy Peterson, 55, who hails from Ardnamurchan and who lost his father, also to the condition, is getting on his bike for the marathon effort with all proceeds going to 40tude, the cancer charity of which Smith was ambassador.
Peterson explained: “Prior to his death, I’d been speaking to Tom about doing a major ride for 40tude.
“I got to know Tom by taking part in the Wounded Lions ride from Twickenham to BT Murrayfield with Rob Wainwright and several other international players in 2020.
“Tom was a special person and was keen to champion my ride and the difference it will make to curing bowel cancer. His wife, Zoe, is fully behind the ride and has been very supportive.
“So, in honour of Tom, I’ll set out on Saturday 16 July and ride solo between the four compass points of the UK mainland.
“It’s a distance of some 2,500km and I aim to cover it in seven days with the intent of raising £100,000 which will fund a research fellowship in Tom’s memory at St Mark’s Hospital in London, a global leader in bowel cancer research.”
Peterson’s route will take him from Lizard Point in the south, to Lowestoft in the east. Then the long trek to Dunnet Head in Caithness before finishing at the westernmost part of the UK, Ardnamurchan Point.
He will average 360km and 16 hours in the saddle each day. “It would be a tough challenge for anyone never mind a 55-year-old, 90kg+ father of four!” he quipped.
Predictably, the rugby community is getting behind the ride.
“John Hall, the former England No 8 is joining me in the south-west of England for part of the ride, and Andy Nicol and Rob Wainwright are planning to join when I get to Scotland.
“I am planning on meeting Greg Laidlaw when I pass through Jedburgh and Will Greenwood and Matt Dawson have also agreed to help,” Peterson added.
You can find out more about the ride and about bowel cancer here: Tom Smith 4 Points Ride | 40TUDE CURING COLON CANCER
And you can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Tom-Smith-4-Points