Local cyclist taking part in London to Amsterdam Challenge for Prostate Cancer UK...LOCAL cyclist, Kerst Ward, is getting ready to represent The Saddlers this weekend in the London to Amsterdam Challenge in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.
The #MenUnited initiative takes place between June 12th and 14th and requires a club representative to cycle from The Matchroom Stadium, home of Leyton Orient, to the iconic Amsterdam ArenA in the Dutch capital.
The gruelling 145-mile route is spread across two days and involves a ferry ride from Harwich to Holland, though that wasn’t enough to deter our Cannock-based rider from taking up the challenge for a worthy cause.
“It’s the most common cancer amongst men in the UK so it clearly affects so many people,” said Kerst. “The Men United campaign has been tremendous in building their profile over the past few years and it’s something I’m putting my heart and soul into.
“We have to raise at least £1000 to participate and I’m hoping with the fans backing we can surpass that.
“I’m a leisure cyclist to be honest but I have cycled with a few fairly serious local clubs.
“I’m a Walsall lad born and bred and ride with a bunch of middle aged men that really shouldn’t be wearing lycra!”
Kerst will complete an 85-mile ride on the opening day, pausing for a break at Colchester’s Comminity Stadium, before leaving British shores on an overnight ferry.
“The distance shouldn’t be too much of a problem but if it gets competitive between the clubs and different sections of the group, then it could turn out to be quite a testing ride” he added. “And contrary to popular belief, I know Holland isn’t necessarily all that flat!”
Despite being a charity event, there will certainly be a competitive edge to the European adventure, with Football League clubs swapping balls for bikes in aid of ‘Men United’.
A keen rugby player and former judoka, Kerst is familiar with sporting competition and first got on his bike as a child.
“I always had a bike as a kid but when I was in my early 20’s I started cycling more seriously because I had a nasty knee injury.
“Then it led to Triathlon training but I’m not the best swimmer so that clearly didn’t help!
“I hated running so I stuck with the cycling and have really taken to it ever since.
“Hopefully I can raise a bit of money on behalf of the club for a fantastic cause.”
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