It all began over a pint with former Scotland rugby star Kenny Logan. Now, with the 2023 Rugby World Cup on the horizon, Carbon Financial managing director Gordon Wilson is in a race against time to ensure he’s fit for a gruelling 700-mile challenge supporting the “My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.”
Gordon has been clocking-up hundreds of miles on back roads in his spare time to ensure he’s ready for another demanding fundraiser.
Three times European Cup winner Logan, who was capped 70 times for Scotland, has drawn-up ambitious plans to support the Foundation set-up as friend and international teammate Doddie Weir bravely battled the motor neurone disease which finally claimed his life last year.
“Kenny Logan’s World Cup Challenge” aims to raise £555,555 and donations are flooding in.
“I suppose my involvement can be traced back to a casual conversation I had in a Grassmarket pub around Christmas when Kenny outlined this crazy idea he had to support the Foundation,” recalled Gordon (55).
“Kenny explained he was working up plans with support from World Rugby to put together a group to cycle and walk from the Scottish Gas Murrayfield Stadium to Paris with the match ball for the Scotland v Ireland game at Stade de France in Paris on October 7.
“I was well aware that Kenny and his sports marketing agency had already raised vast amounts of money for the Foundation so I knew he was deadly serious.
“I’d previously been involved in a similar challenge in which a 100-strong peloton led by former Scotland captain Rob Wainwright cycled round-the-clock for 48 hours - in all weathers – to deliver the ball from Edinburgh to Cardiff for the Scotland-Wales Six Nations match in February last year.
“I joined a relay team which included Deacon Blue drummer Dougie Vipond. Others taking part included Mark Beaumont, the round-the-world record breaker, so as an occasional weekend cyclist I was well out of my league.
“I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be repeating it but how wrong could I be!”
Inspired by Kenny’s single-minded determination to rope in a 20-strong band of friends and business contacts, Gordon signed-up for a challenge which has also tempted celebrities like Ally McCoist, Jimmy Nesbitt, Kirsty Gallacher, Kenny’s wife Gabby Logan and one-time special forces soldier and adventurer Jason Fox, of SAS: Who Dares Win fame.
“When I agreed to take part in Kenny’s challenge there seemed to be plenty of time to train and get in shape - but all of a sudden, with the Scotland squad being announced recently, the start date is rapidly closing in,” said Gordon.
“So, I have, quite literally, got on my bike to step-up my fitness levels and begun to help with the fundraising effort.
“My plan is to cycle every stage, which means back-to-back days clocking-up anything between 80 and 110 miles.
“That will be very different from the Rob Wainwright challenge which had us cycling in shifts. At least we’ll get some sleep with this one, although it is going to mean longer and more demanding days in the saddle.
“Doddie knew the incredible fundraising effort he inspired would be too late to help him, but it was always his wish to support other sufferers affected by this dreadful condition.
“That is what spurred me on to help with fundraising challenges such as a March for Doddie in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Doddie’5 Ride in Melrose.
“Carbon Financial has also provided backing for various dinners and golf days.
“The Foundation, which is all about instilling ‘love, fun and hope’ into the lives of those affected by MND, is continuing to carry our invaluable work in Doddie’s memory.”
Logan, who has recovered from a prostate cancer scare, begins his challenge on October 1 with teams taking on a 110-mile cycle to Cresswell before a 25-mile walk to the Newcastle Falcons stadium.
It will culminate with a 3.4-mile matchday walk to the Stade de France.
Kenny’s Challenge has attracted generous backing from sponsors to ensure every penny donated by supporters goes to the Foundation.
Donations can be made at Gordon Wilson is fundraising for My Name'5 Doddie Foundation (justgiving.com).
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