Friends facing epic charity challenge

Charity challenge
Charity challenge

A group of determined ladies are busy training for an epic fundraising challenge.

Debbie Watt, Julie O’Donnell, Marianne Johnson and Tracey Pearson are heading to the Scottish Highlands to climb the heights of Ben Nevis before cycling 15 miles, kayaking Loch Lochy and then jumping back on their bikes for another 10 miles to finish.

The challenge is in aid of the Butterfly Hospice in Boston which gives care and support to people who have a life-limiting or terminal illness.

Julie, from South Reston, near Louth, said: “We have all known people who have had cancer or have died from it and we wanted to raise money to help the Butterfly Hospice which provides support to so many people.”

Debbie, who lives in Louth, came up with the idea for the challenge and teamed up with friends Tracey, from Skegness, and Marianne, from nearby Burgh le Marsh. The trio are all in their 40s and were introduced to Julie through a mutual friend.

Julie, 56, said: “They were looking for one more person to join the team and someone said ‘Julie is mad enough to do it.

“I think you have to be a bit mad to do something like this. We all enjoy challenges.

“I’ve climbed Ben Nevis about four or five times, I’m running the London Marathon for the first time this year and I’ve done parachute jumps and charity bike rides, Debbie has hiked deserts, Marianne is a cyclist and Tracey is a keep fit fanatic.

“The only thing we haven’t done is kayaked before and Debbie has never been on a bike so she’s had to go out and get herself a cycle and learn to ride.”

The group have been out training for four to five hours in the Lincolnshire Wolds and are building up their stamina for the Action for Charity Ben Nevis challenge on June 20. They hope to beat last year’s all women’s team time of nine hours 36 minutes.

To sponsor the team go to or call Julie on 07875 557430