Anna off on Christmas Eve ...for a 600-mile cycle ride

Anna McKeon on her bike

Anna McKeon on her bike

First published in Local news Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Education worker Anna McKeon will enjoy Christmas in energetic style, embarking on a massive Cambodian cycling challenge.

The 31-year-old is setting off on a 621-mile – 1,000 km – fundraising ride on Christmas Eve as her family in Otley unwind for the festive break.

Anna moved from Leeds to Cambodia in 2011 to help a rural education project and her cycling adventure will raise money for education and youth leadership organisation PEPY.

The 20-day cycle will take in many of Cambodia’s landmarks, including the temples of Angkor Wat, as well as the bustling streets of Phnom Penh.

Anna, who will be accompanied by two Cambodian guides, said: “Cambodian youth struggle with access to education, a lack of quality education and minimal job opportunities, especially those outside cities.

“Through the ride we hope to raise about £5,000 to support the continuation of PEPY’s projects.

“Cambodia is beautiful, so the opportunity to explore the countryside on a bike at weekends is brilliant, although after a hard 60-km training ride you do get sore legs.

“However, it’s more difficult helping people back home to understand what I’m doing and why.

“We don’t always appreciate just how amazing education in the UK is until you spend time in a country where the teachers often haven’t finished school and get paid such a low salary they can’t afford food.

“And students have to walk or cycle 10 km each way just to get to school.

“I feel so lucky to have had the opportunities I had in life and want to support my colleagues in Cambodia in their work with young people.”

Her parents, Andrew and Gemma McKeon, will be cheering her on from Otley.

Mr McKeon said: “We’re very proud of what she’s doing and slightly in awe that she’s getting in the saddle for more than 600 miles while we'll be sitting down to turkey.

“She'll be very much in our thoughts this Christmas and we’re hoping for her to have a great time and be safe.”

Visit virginmoneygiving. com/Annamck.

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