Plumbase's regional director for the North Eastern counties, Ian Golden, reveals why he spent the last year raising money for the Alzheimer's Society.
During this epic cycle challenge he faced dusty roads and jungle tracks in the hot, humid conditions of Vietnam and Cambodia, where temperatures ranged from 36 to 46 degrees celsius. He cycled the 470km from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to Siem Reap in Cambodia over an eight-day period, during which he experienced some of the most impressive sights in southeast Asia including the Royal Temples of Angkor Wat, one of which was the temple of 'Ta Prohm', which was used in the film 'Tomb Raider'.
"Finishing this epic challenge with 35 new team mates, was one of the most emotional things I have ever done," said Ian. "Over the last 18 months, I have got myself down from 18 stone to 13.5 stone, through a mixture of healthy eating and exercise. The main thing that kept me focused throughout is the challenges. Whether it be a 100 mile Cycling Sportive, a Duathlon or cycling across Asia, knowing I have set myself a challenge, knowing people are supporting me and knowing I am doing it all for a great cause in Alzheimer's awareness, has kept me focused and motivated to keep pushing myself harder."
He continued: "One thing I learnt while doing the challenge across Vietnam and Cambodia was the importance of teamwork. Every day was a challenge out there, whether it was the extreme heat, the tropical rainstorms or the pure exhaustion. One thing all 35 of us decided right from the very start was that we succeed together and we hadn’t finished until the last person crossed the line at every water stop. If this meant one or two of us riding at walking pace with someone who was struggling for 3 hours, that's what we did."
Ian has had two main sponsors to reach his target, Plumbase and Viessmann group. The Viessmann group is a family business founded in Germany in 1917, and is one of the leading international manufacturers of heating boilers.
There are 750,000 people with dementia in the UK and the Alzheimer's Society is a leading support service and research charity for people with dementia, and their carers.
To read Ian's whole blog, written during the challenges, click here: www.v2c2012.blogspot.co.uk
If you would like to donate to Ian's Just Giving page, please visit www.justgiving.com/ian-golden-2012