Adventurer tackling two long rides for 10-year-old neighbour with rare illness

PUBLISHED: 08:00 02 June 2018

Jason Smith and Archie Pearson.

Jason Smith and Archie Pearson.

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A Weston-super-Mare man is taking on two of Europe's toughest bike races on behalf of a neighbour who has a rare illness.

Jason Smith.Jason Smith.

Jason Smith is no stranger to sports challenges as his previous adventures include running seven marathons in seven days and cycling 1,000 miles in nine days.

This time, he will participate in the TransAtlantic Way Bike Race, where around 200 people from 20 countries will cycle 2,500km around the coast of Ireland.

He will follow this up with an even longer ride across Europe.

He is cycling on behalf of the MPS charity to raise money for treatment for a rare genetic condition his 10-year-old neighbour Archie Pearson has.

Archie Pearson.Archie Pearson.

Archie has a mucopolysaccharide (MPS) disease, which can cause progressive disabilities.

Jason said: “Archie has been such an inspiration for more than a decade.

“He has managed to overcome such adversity in his battle with this devastating disease, he’s amazed all of us.

“There’s never been a better time to help raise awareness of the MPS charity which has provided life-prolonging treatment and support for more than 10 years.”

The Ireland race will involve a 60,000ft ascent as it will start in Dublin and take the riders 150 miles north to Londonderry.

They will then follow the Wild Atlantic Way route around the west coast for 1,500 miles.

If Jason manages to cycle 200 miles a day, he could finish in just seven days, but he said that would be a massive task.

The 48-year-old said: “Preparation for the race has gone as well as it could.

“I’ve had such immense support for the cycling challenges this year and I hope to finish and make everyone proud.”

In January, Jason entered the UK’s top 101 list for British adventurers, alongside Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Ben Fogle.

He will be living up to the title too, since only five weeks after he completes the TransAtlantic Way Bike Race, he is setting his sights on the TransContinental Race across Europe. It will start in Belgium, and he will be among 350 riders cycling the 4,500km to Greece.

To support Jason’s efforts, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mps2018 or follow his progress at http://trackleaders.com/transatlantic18

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