NOVICE cyclist Laura Chadwick first discovered she had applied to take part in the Prudential London 100 challenge months after her brother signed her up.
The 28-year-old from Rod-bourne, who had never cycled more than 30 miles, secured her place on the round London 100 mile challenge – which was established in the wake of the success of British cycling in the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games - after her younger brother had signed her up, hoping that he could take her place.
She said: “My brother is a cyclist and he wanted to apply for the Prudential 100, but because places are so limited he thought I stood a better chance because I’m a girl so he signed me up with a view to take my place.
“But he didin’t realise you can’t ride as someone else and he couldn’t just take my place.
“The first I found out about it was in February when I was offered the place. I am sure he must have told me before but I think I had probably forgotten.
“I could have said no but I just thought what a privilege it was to have the opportunity, and so I paid the entrance fee and started training.
“It gave me something I could really work towards.”
Although Laura knew the training regime would be tough, she has had to make drastic changes to her lifestyle to fit in the necessary training for the challenge, which will take place on August 10.
She said: “I’m basically doing lots and lots of cycling. I’ve also started having a meal every 20 minutes. Even if it’s just something like a fig roll I have to eat something every 20 minutes.
“I took part in lots of sportives, like the Wiltshire Wildcat in Salisbury, which was 66 miles, and then the Runway Rumble, which was a four-hour endurance race and I reached 65 miles.”
The money Laura raises will go to local charity Dressability, which adapts clothes to the needs of the disabled people who want to wear them.
Laura, who has already raised more than £400 for the cause, said: “My mum works there so I’ve seen some of the stuff they do and it’s just amazing, people can wear whatever it is they want.
“They really do make such a difference for people and they work so hard I just wanted to be able to support them.
“My target is £500 and I’ve raised £433 so far. I just want to raise as much as I can for them.”