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18 November 2015

Lawyers are champion charity fundraisers at the double

Two lawyers at B P Collins LLP dug deep to achieve two very personal challenges for charities close to their hearts.

Vicky Holland, a partner in the corporate and commercial team, completed a four day London to Paris cycle ride to raise funds for Pancreatic Cancer UK in memory of her twin sister Mags; while Christine Moore, senior associate in the wills, trusts and probate group, successfully tackled the Ironman Mallorca to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Ian Hopkins, chief executive, said: “We support and celebrate our two amazing colleagues who trained incredibly hard to take on these challenges and we are thrilled to share in their achievements, well done to each of them.”

Vicky’s twin Mags was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer in April 2014 and died just 10 months later.

“Mags used to do a lot of sport and had completed a triathlon with two girlfriends. After she died, her friends asked me and our sisters and brother if we wanted to do the ride with them,” said Vicky.

“We knew it was exactly the sort of thing Mags would have loved to do. To have so many friends supporting us was a real high point and the challenge was hugely rewarding in terms of being able to do something positive at a very hard time in raising awareness and funds for pancreatic cancer.

“Mags’ husband, my partner, our siblings and other family and friends joined us for the ride and others were there to greet us at the end; it was very emotional, especially when the family grouped up to cross the finishing line together at the Trocodero in Paris.

Vicky says the lowest point was on the second day when, after cycling 80 miles from London to Dover on day one, they had to leave at 5.30am for the ferry to Calais and then cycle another 75 miles, starting off in the dark and driving rain. On the plus side however, she says the hard work and training paid off as she “felt fine” after completing the event.

Calling themselves the “Live Life to the Mags” fundraising group and boosted by a host of generous donations, the team has currently raised nearly £82,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Vicky and the team receive support from MPs Iain Duncan-Smith and Jeremy Hunt. Copyright Ken Mears.

For Christine, the Ironman Challenge was the chance to step up from the triathlons and half Ironman event she had previously completed.

The event - a 3.8km swim, then a 112 mile bike ride and finally running a marathon - took her 14 hours 43 minutes to complete and she exceeded her fundraising goal of £1,000.

“Alzheimer’s UK is a very personal charity for me because my dad suffers from the disease and my dad's sister died after suffering from Alzheimer’s for a number of years, so I wanted to raise funds for the charity,” she said.

“Crossing the finishing line was definitely the high point and the lowest was towards the end of the run when I knew I was dehydrated. I had to walk/run for the last lap and a half, but I always knew I would finish and overall I was very pleased, especially with how much money I had raised.”

A keen runner and member of the Chiltern Harriers running club, Christine took up cycling five years ago and now belongs to both Amersham Road Cycling Club and a community triathlon team "Ten-Point BlackFish", a group of amateur triathletes, runners, cyclists and swimmers, a number of whom also took part in the event.

Following a set 30-week training programme, which included early morning open water swimming in Denham Lake, she visited Mallorca earlier in the spring with the cycling club to check out the roads and terrain.

And although currently enjoying a well-earned rest, Christine is already contemplating another Ironman event in order to improve on her time.

Christine crosses the finish line in Mallorca.

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