Former Chief Fire Officer, and now retained firefighter in Exeter, Brian Murray has started his training for next year’s 4,300 mile Trans Am Bike Race across America, a challenge he’s undertaking to raise funds for The Fire Fighters Charity. His arduous journey will begin in Oregon on the Pacific Coast and take him around 26 days, finishing in Virginia on the Atlantic coast.

The ride, which is happening in June 2018, is an annual, self-supported, ultra-distance cycling race. There are no stages and once the clock starts it doesn’t stop until the finish line, even during eating and sleeping time. Cyclists are therefore on their bikes for as long as possible, sleeping as little as they can. Riders are monitored using GPS tracker devices mounted on their bikes which upload their positions constantly to a ‘Track leaders’ website.

Brian hopes to pedal around 165 miles a day and has put together a tough training regime in preparation.

“As part of training I am cycling from Land’s End to John O’ Groats. I aim to do it in 6 days as that replicates the kind of challenge I am going to face in America.”

“I love cycling so the training is going really well, the real challenge is to raise funds for the Charity and this needs as much effort as the training.”

Brian Murray

A keen cyclist all his life Brian knows first-hand how the Charity can really make a difference after accessing our services at Harcombe House in Devon.

“In 2015 I fell off my bike, I fractured my pelvis and shattered my elbow,” he revealed. “The NHS rebuilt me but Harcombe House provided a great service and within six months I was back on the run as a firefighter.”

However, six months later, unlucky Brian came off his bike again.

“I fell off again and broke my hip which was put back with titanium,” he says. “I arrived here [at Harcombe House] on crutches and two weeks later walked out having done the fitness test. The skill of the staff, equipment, and facilities is just superb.”

Brian continued; “They did a great job with fitness and health, but it was the confidence they gave me within the two weeks, the confidence to push myself and explore my limits.

“I have raised money throughout my career for the Charity, however I have now got an even greater reason, so that’s why I am doing it.”

Now on top form Brian is looking forward to the gruelling challenge next year.

“It’s a tough event, 131 entered last year and less than half finished. There are bears, wolves and snakes so it’s not an easy event but I am keen to raise funds for The Fire Fighters Charity.”

You can help Brian to reach his fundraising goal by donating via his MyDonate page.

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