Army veteran’s 100-mile walk, cycle and run challenge raises £1,000 for charity and eight-year-old Isla who has brain cancer

PUBLISHED: 14:00 30 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:00 30 June 2020

Cambridgeshire Army Cadet instructor Sergeant Lloyd Lester has raised more than £1,000 by completing a 100 mile walk, cycle and run fundraiser for the Royal Signals Charity and Isla McNulty, an eight-year-old from Doddington who has brain cancer. Picture: DOUG STUART

Cambridgeshire Army Cadet instructor Sergeant Lloyd Lester has raised more than £1,000 by completing a 100 mile walk, cycle and run fundraiser for the Royal Signals Charity and Isla McNulty, an eight-year-old from Doddington who has brain cancer. Picture: DOUG STUART

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An army veteran raised more than £1,000 by completing a 100-mile walk, cycle and run fundraiser for the Royal Signals Charity and a Doddington girl who has brain cancer.

Cambridgeshire Army Cadet instructor Sergeant Lloyd Lester has raised more than £1,000 by completing a 100 mile walk, cycle and run fundraiser for the Royal Signals Charity and Isla McNulty, an eight-year-old from Doddington who has brain cancer. Sgt. Lloyd Lester and Sgt. Helen Fiona at Wisbech Detachment by Phoenix Hart. Picture: DOUG STUARTCambridgeshire Army Cadet instructor Sergeant Lloyd Lester has raised more than £1,000 by completing a 100 mile walk, cycle and run fundraiser for the Royal Signals Charity and Isla McNulty, an eight-year-old from Doddington who has brain cancer. Sgt. Lloyd Lester and Sgt. Helen Fiona at Wisbech Detachment by Phoenix Hart. Picture: DOUG STUART

Army Cadet instructor Sergeant Lloyd Lester set himself his “hardest challenge to date” - of visiting all nine 1 company Cambridgeshire Army Cadet detachments, including Wisbech, by cycling, running and tabbing (walking at a fast pace with heavy pack) in a single day.

Sergeant Lester, who served as a reservist with the Royal Corps of Signals and has run half marathons on multiple occasions, took on the mammoth task to raise money to help eight-year-old Isla McNulty from Doddington who has brain cancer and will soon undergo chemotherapy.

Isla’s situation was explained to Lloyd by his colleague Sgt. Lena Rowlands who knows the girl’s family. SI Lester hopes that the money will help her family and enable them to have a holiday.

He was also raising money for The Royal Signals Charity, which helps veterans of the Royal Corps of Signals and their families. SI Lester wanted to support the charity as he is a veteran himself, and to help commemorate the centenary of the creation of that regiment.

Cambridgeshire Army Cadet instructor Sergeant Lloyd Lester has raised more than �1,000 by completing a 100 mile walk, cycle and run fundraiser for the Royal Signals Charity and Isla McNulty, an eight-year-old from Doddington who has brain cancer. Picture: DOUG STUARTCambridgeshire Army Cadet instructor Sergeant Lloyd Lester has raised more than �1,000 by completing a 100 mile walk, cycle and run fundraiser for the Royal Signals Charity and Isla McNulty, an eight-year-old from Doddington who has brain cancer. Picture: DOUG STUART

Whilst preparing, he was enthusiastic and said: “It’s the hardest challenge I’ve ever done. Not just the physical effort, but mentally as well.”

His preparations were extensive, not only in terms of his own fitness, but also in route planning and discussions with his support team, who travelled in a car.

He carried a three-litre water pack and bottles of Lucozade, and kept up his energy by eating pasta (with bacon and salt) and Kendal Mint Cake.

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He also adapted his mountain bike for road use by replacing the tyres with thinner ones at higher pressure.

Starting at Yaxley at 7am, he tabbed with 42lb weight to Fletton (4.3 miles), stopping at the Cenotaph in Peterborough to pay his respects and mark Armed Forces week.

He then tabbed to Walton/Talavera (2.8 miles) and rode to Wisbech (32.5 miles) and March (23.9 miles) then onto Chatteris (6.9 miles) Ramsey (12.7 miles) Whittlesey (10.2 miles) and rode to Facet and then ran onto Yaxley (10.2 miles in total).

He was supported by Staff Sergeant Rob Silveri, Sergeant Major Vince Moody and Cadet Corporal Pheonix Hart.

At March detachment, he had a surprise meeting with his commanding officer Major Deacon who had come along to show her support and ride with him to Chatteris.

He completed the challenge and was welcomed with applause by a group of well-wishers at Yaxley detachment, a greeting which he said was “amazing” and one he “would never forget”. To date, he has raised more than £1,000.

Major Lesley Deacon said: “I had the privilege to support one of my adult volunteers, Sgt. Lloyd Lester, on his epic 100-mile round trip of all the detachments in 1 Company.

“He completed this tabbing, walking and running in just under 12 hours. The cadets, parents and adult instructors of 1 company are so proud of his achievement. Well done!”

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