PNE’s Assistant Sport Scientist Luke Hemmings certainly knows a thing or two about the human body – it’s mechanics; what it’s capable of; and how best to look after it, but his next planned challenge in 2018 is tough enough to challenge the very fittest to their limits.
Luke, who is part of Alex Neil’s backroom staff will cover an epic 1,200 miles in just three weeks, using only the means of pedal power for 875 miles whilst conquering the rest by foot.
Luke will travel the whole length of the Island of Great Britain, from John O’Groats to Land’s End using only the means of his bicycle covering 875 miles in the process, a popular challenge amongst keen fundraising enthusiasts.
That in itself can be considered an extremely daunting challenge, but Luke plans on going one step further by then travelling from Land’s End to Dover, covering a further 356 miles just by foot!
Luke will cycle 125 miles via his bike everyday for seven days before taking part in 14 marathons in 14 days.
The sheer scale of Luke’s challenge is the equivalent of completing Preston’s Guild Wheel 58 times, or covering 24,000 football pitches, and Luke aims to complete the trip in just three weeks, starting on June 1st 2018.
Admittedly, Luke is usually on the other side of the treatment table, but believes his work with Preston North End is almost the perfect preparation to conquering such a huge feat.
“Through working at the club, you know how to look after yourself so that’s something I’ve had to step up a lot - because I’m training a lot more, you have to look after your body a lot more as well so foam rolling and ice baths are becoming quite regular.
“To help prepare, I’ve been riding and running as much as I can. I’m stepping up my miles now so on the weekends, I’ll do a 60 to 70 mile on a Saturday and then a 50 on a Sunday and step it up from there on in. Because there’s that many miles, I don’t think you can just train for 14 marathons in 14 days so you’ve just got to get as much time on your feet and on the bike as you can.”
Dubbing his challenge ‘LukesUKEvent’, his reasoning to completing such a challenge is a lot more than just keeping fit however. His real motivation is raising as much money for Prostate Cancer UK, a charity which is helping to combat an illness that kills one man every hour.
The foundations of Luke’s association with the charity stem from when he completed the Football to Amsterdam Challenge, a charity bike ride organised by Prostate Cancer UK which sees various EFL Clubs and its fans take part, and Luke admitted to feeling inspired when he took part in the challenge.
“I did the Football to Amsterdam last year and I just got a good feel about it all. I had a great experience and with their relationship with the EFL as well, I felt I owed them something because I enjoyed it that much.
"It was just like another holiday for me so I thought I owed them something so I did a bit of looking - I looked into Prostate Cancer, and the stats are horrendous. One in eight men will get diagnosed and one man every hour dies from it so it’s obviously quite close to home with me being a male so I want to try and do something to help those people and the families that are affected.
“This will hopefully raise awareness for younger people as well because it targets all men. So trying to raise awareness for all men of my age and hopefully everyone involved who will see what I’m doing to hopefully catch it early.
“By getting it out there and talking about it, hopefully it will become easier for people to discuss and easier to get it checked out and treated.”
Luke needs your backing to help him through such a huge challenge, donate at JustGiving by clicking here or text LRHH99 £3 to 70070 to donate £3.
Luke is also looking for companies to sponsor his event to help fund his trip. If you’re interested in sponsoring what is a worthwhile cause as well as receiving national advertising exposure, you can contact Luke by emailing email@example.com.