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Students face gruelling challenge on one of Edinburgh’s biggest landmarks


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Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano which lies at the heart of Edinburgh, its peak 822 feet above the city. It even gets a mention in Mary Shelley’s iconic 1818 novel, Frankenstein.

On the 17th September an eight-strong team of student cyclists are planning to take on a gruelling 24 hour cycling relay around Arthur’s Seat in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

To truly understand the extent of this undertaking it’s worth knowing that, due to the amazingly harsh terrain, three or four laps round the planned route constitutes a pretty tough training session for most any cyclist - 24 hours will be an entirely different story.

James Parsons of Edinburgh University Cycling Club masterminded the event and told The National Student that it's his “biggest challenge."

The fearsome landmark will throw the elements at the small team - their planned course gains over 100 metres in elevation over its entirety.

James elaborated on quite how tough-a-challenge the event will be, telling us that “It’s almost constantly cycling uphill.”

He added that this kind of cycling presents a more psychologically taxing task than a traditional road race. “Normally we would ride the route for an hour maximum,” James told us.

The team’s 24-hour relay is a goliath undertaking, and they hope that the great cause they’re riding to promote and help will also serve to motivate them when they’re pushed to their limits.

It’s cancer’s tragically wide reaching effects that inspired the team to take on a challenge of such scale: “We chose Macmillan as the charity as it’s one which affects all of us," says James. "Everyone has been in contact with cancer in one way or another.”

The students hope their tough task will attract support and raise important funds for Macmillan.

Visit the team's JustGiving page here

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