AN Innerleithen man has completed a 1,650 mile cycling challenge from Edinburgh Castle to the Rock of Gibraltar.

Since 2010, Gordon Smith has raised over £20,000 for terminal illness charity Marie Curie, and this year, he decided to go one step further in his efforts, and embark on his solo journey, which was expected to take 16 days.

The 57-year-old painter and decorator, first got involved by decorating the Marie Curie Hospice at Fairmilehead in Edinburgh, where his wife Tracy works.

Before setting off on Friday, September 15, Gordon also received a message of support from Olympic Champion Sir Chris Hoy, wishing him good luck.

Despite a few setbacks along the way, including battling the wind, rain, heat and falling ill, Gordon has raised £9,519.98, with the amount continuing to rise.

After arriving at the Rock of Gibraltar on Wednesday, October 11, Gordon said: “The doctors and nurses who attend our loved ones deserve our support and whilst I don't have the skills of the staff at Marie Curie, I can ride a bike.

“It's been a long tough, and event filled challenge, from falling ill in France for around five days to the hot temperatures of Spain.

“I'm absolutely delighted to have over nine thousand pounds for Marie Curie. By giving a little we can make a difference to someone at the end of their life. A huge thank you to everyone who has donated.”

Jenna Moore, Marie Curie Community Fundraiser said: “Gordon is inspirational in his attitude towards fundraising. He is so passionate about supporting Marie Curie and is always challenging himself one step further than the last time; we couldn’t be more grateful for everything he is doing.

“The money Gordon is raising will support people living with a terminal illness to make the most of the time they have. I know his family are so proud of him, and will be there to cheer him across the finish line.”

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