School friends from Bassingbourn take on 100km ultra challenge for causes close to their hearts

PUBLISHED: 08:30 12 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:33 15 June 2017

Liam and Donna Geraghty with brothers Mark, Neil and Luke Rigby and Peter Mumford after completing last year's 100km London to Cambridge ultra challenge.

Liam and Donna Geraghty with brothers Mark, Neil and Luke Rigby and Peter Mumford after completing last year's 100km London to Cambridge ultra challenge.

Archant

A group of school friends from Bassingbourn are to take on a 100km ultra challenge to raise funds for causes close to their hearts.

Neil Rigby is taking the ultra challenge for Cancer Research UK.Neil Rigby is taking the ultra challenge for Cancer Research UK.

Donna Geraghty, her husband Liam, and a group of their friends – Peter Mumford and brothers Neil, Mark and Luke Rigby – are to take part in the Cotswold Way Ultra Challenge in July for good causes, a year after their first big walk.

They completed the London-to-Cambridge Ultra 100km ultra challenge last year, and were inspired to do so after the brothers lost their mum Patricia Lowe to cancer in 2011.

Luke said: “Last year we decided that it would be a great idea to walk 100km from London to Cambridge, and for about 12 hours it felt like the worst possible idea.

Neil and Luke Rigby at the finish line of last year's race.Neil and Luke Rigby at the finish line of last year's race.

“Somehow, it has again been decided that it was in fact a brilliant idea and so we are doing it again – but this time round it’ll be hillier and even harder in the Cotswolds from Bath to Cheltenham.

“Our mum was a very keen walker. She was a member of both the Royston and Cambridge Ramblers. Even well into her 60s she would regularly walk 15 miles, often twice a week.

“Sadly, back in 2010, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. At that point she was still active with the ramblers. In 2011 she succumbed to this awful disease.”

Liam and Donna with their sons Declan, now 22 months, William now three, and daughter Orlaith, 9.Liam and Donna with their sons Declan, now 22 months, William now three, and daughter Orlaith, 9.

Donna added: “We were all at Bassingbourn Village College together 20 years ago, and most have moved out of the area. But we want to do these challenges together – there’s great camaraderie and we keep each other going.”

Donna was in the year below now-husband Liam at the school in South End. They lost touch but met again five years ago, got married and have sons Declan – aged 22 months – and William, three. Donna also has a nine-year-old daughter called Orlaith.

The walk last year wasn’t without drama – Donna had a fall and ended up in A&E with a torn ligament following the 24-hour walk.

Neil and Luke Rigby with Peter Mumford on the London to Cambridge challenge last year. Neil and Luke Rigby with Peter Mumford on the London to Cambridge challenge last year.

She said: “We were lucky because it was Cambridge and we were near home, so I could deal with it – but this time we’ll be miles away and it’s really tough.”

Last year team Build Momentum – named after Pete and Luke’s Saffron Walden building firm – raised £5,163 for Cancer Research UK.

This year, Donna is raising money for miscarriage and stillbirth charity Tommy’s, Liam is fundraising for the MS Society as his mum has the disease, and the brothers and Peter are again walking in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Donna Geraghty after last year's ultra challenge.Donna Geraghty after last year's ultra challenge.

Click here for Donna’s fundraising page, here for Liam’s, this one for Mark’s, herefor Luke’s, this one for Neil’s, and for Peter’s page click here.

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