MOUNT Everest came to Blunsdon for one long, gruelling day last week.

Keen cyclist Matthew Farmer picked his local hill for a special challenge that saw him hit Himalayan heights in aid of charity.

‘Everesting’ sees riders tackle 29,029ft of climbing – the same as they’d face if they scaled the world’s highest mountain itself – on a bike in one go. Only small comfort and food breaks are allowed.

Matthew, 34, believes he went up and down Blunsdon Hill a total of 172 times during the challenge last Friday – and even beat Everest’s height with his total climb of 30,302ft.

“It’s an achievement on every cyclist’s bucket list but given the size of the task I also wanted to raise money,” said Matthew, who works as an IT configuration manager at Nationwide.

Matthew has been cycling for four years and is part of the Recycles group in Swindon.

He dedicated his ride to Alzheimer’s Research UK and managed to raise £1,455 for the charity.

“I chose the charity because both of my grandfathers have suffered from the condition, with one passing away from it recently,” Matthew said.

“I had a mix of emotions. I felt overwhelmed by the support of my cycle club, my family and the general public.

“But the task was physically and mentally tough, especially during the middle of the day when it was at its hottest, it was very demanding, and the heat was almost unbearable.”

Matthew started the ride at 6am and did not finish until 2.30am on the next day – two hours after his predicted finish time of midnight.

“Towards the end my emotions turned to determination and motivation, even though cramp and fatigue was starting to set in,” he said.

“On Saturday I felt tired, sore, hungry and achy, but also a sense of pride and achievement.”

When asked whether he would attempt the challenge again Matthew said: “If I was to do it again, it would have to be somewhere I’ve been before, like the Alps, just because of the interesting environment.

“It would definitely cross my mind.”

Matthew trained hard for the challenge despite his partner Laura giving birth to the couple’s baby daughter, Aubrey, in March.

On completion, he became the 3,368th person to achieve ‘Everesting’ worldwide and the first to try it on a Swindon hill.