by MARY MAGEE
Michael Berryman and Gary Patterson who are planning to cycle from Mizen Head - Ireland's most Southerly point to Malin Head, the most Northern point, with Michael's son Curtis (13).
TWO local men are gearing up for a top to toe challenge this weekend when they take on a gruelling four day 400 mile cycle down the length of Ireland to raise money for two charities close to their hearts.
Duty officer at the Grove Activity Centre Michael Berryman (48) will be cycling from Mizen Head to Malin Head to raise money for locally based charity 'Parent for Opportunities' while his friend, Gary Patterson will be taking on the same challenge for the Potters House, a home for underprivileged children in Romania.
Michael from Sharry Drive, Lambeg has already raised £500 for his charity which helps fund trips and outings for local families who has someone in their family suffering from cerebral palsy. Michael's wife Heather is on the committee as their 13-year-old son Curtis suffers from the condition.
Michael's family are one of 12 families involved with the charity "This is a small group and £500 would mean a lot to them," he said. "It will go towards families to go out for meals to restaurants or a short trip or outing to somewhere like Craigavon ski-slope."
Michael raised money for the group by completing the Belfast Marathon last year for the same cause.
Both Michael, a keen cyclist, and Gary have been training since September and are due to leave this Friday and will stay in Cork before starting the cycle from Mizen Head at 8am on Saturday.
I have done maracyles which are two back to back 100 mile cycles and they can be very tough," said Michael. "But this is the first time that I have done four back to back 100 mile cycles.
There is no doubt it will be hard. The reason we are doing from Mizzen Head to Malin Head and not the other way around is that the wind will hopefully be behind us and not in front of us!"
They will cycle from Mizzen Head to Limerick, then to Knock, Donegal and finish at Malin Head.
Anyone who would like to sponsor Michael or Gary can do so by ringing Michael on 07756404584.
You can also leave sponsorship with any member of staff at Grove Activity Centre, 15 Ballinderry Park, Lisburn.