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Local businessmen set for epic challenge to help MS sufferers.
They may not be as famous as Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish but local businessmen Fraser Tait and David Hunt aim to complete the L’Etape du Tour, section of the Tour de France ahead of the British champions to raise funds for MS Society.
Fraser, a founding member of Kingdom Cheese Company operating from premises in Cowdenbeath and lives in Dalgety Bay.
He is married with two daughters aged 11 and 14 and took the decision to take on this enormous challenge when his wife Ashley was diagnosed with MS a year ago.
In an effort to help raise awareness of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and vital funds for support organisation The MS Society.
"As a successful businessman I am not used to things being outside my control or facing insurmountable challenges and in order to cope I needed to create something positive from this regrettable situation,” said Fraser.
MS is a condition of the central nervous system; it is the most common disabling neurological disease among young adults and affects around 100,000 people in the UK. MS is most often diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 40, and women are almost twice as likely to develop it as men.
Once diagnosed, MS stays with you for life, but treatments and specialists can help you to manage many symptoms well. The MS Society is the UK's largest charity for people affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) – about 100,000 people in the UK.
A keen cyclist Fraser knew all about L’Etape du Tour, an event that gives amateur cyclists the chance to race over the same route as a Tour de France stage. This years sportive, which normally attracts around 8,500 riders, will take place on 18 July, four days before the pros attack the same climbs in stage 17 of the Tour de France.
Starting in Pau in the foothills of the Pyrennes and ending on the Col du Tourmalet, the race is made up of 3 climbs Col de Marie Blanque (1,035m) Col du Soulor (1,474) and culminates with the highest peak, Col du Tourmalet 2,115m). At a distance of 181 km (112 miles) the course is a gruelling, thigh-busting climb of over 4,500m in total.
David owner of Castle & Kingdom Chem-Dry, a specialist cleaning and restoration company based in both Edinburgh and Fife said:
" Ashley’s diagnosis was upsetting as several of my relatives have suffered at the hands of this disease. When Fraser asked me if I would help him raise funds for the MS society I didn't hesitate for one second. "
Fraser and David preparations for the race have got off to a good start with some intensive training over the weekend as they took part in the BEALACH-NA-BA cycle race on Saturday 8th May. The pair completed the 44 mile course with 626 metres of climb along the highest mountain pass in Britain in only 3 hrs 30 mins. It was just a taster of the physical and mental preparation that Fraser and David will need to undertake if they are to achieve their goal.
If you would like to show your support or learn more about MS Fraser and David have a fundraising web site. You can follow their training blog and a chart shows how they are doing on the fundraising front. http://www.theroadtotourmalet.co.uk
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