Here’s a remarkable fundraiser. Ben Stiff is going for the record as the youngest and fastest person to skate from John O’Groats to Lands End, as we speak, to raise money for CORDA.
He’s already crossed over into England, as you can see from his latest blog post.
Ben decided to take up the challenge after his close friend, Sophie, suffered four strokes and he was determined to do something to help the cause. His trip has already been in the news.
We’ve managed to get a quick interview with Ben, mid-journey, over email. Here’s what he told us.
This is a pretty unusual way to get from John O’Groats to Lands End – what gave you the idea in the first place?
I have been skating a long time, and after realising I wasn't cut out for the half-pipe I bought myself a longboard and started using skating as a mode of transport, rather than a means on showing off.
How long have you been skating?
About 7-8 years now
What’s the furthest you’ve ever skated before?
In training I have done days of 50 or more miles, but the hills up here certainly take a lot out of you.
How are you going to manage the uphill sections?
I think if I just take things one step - literally - at a time, then I can progress without too much trouble, but the hills present more a problem when I'm going down them as they eat away at the only means of braking I have; my shoe. I just put my foot from the board to the tarmac to slow down and it takes the sole off quite quickly.
You’re raising money for a great cause – have you fundraised before and how’s it going? Have you got any tips to pass on?
I have been involved with local fundraising events, but nothing of this size. The site is a great idea, roadside collection is a little harder as we are of course trying for a world record. But a smile and a wave goes a long way and a few passers by have stopped and handed us money, which is a great boost to a great cause!
You’re aiming to become the youngest person to do this, and the fastest – how do you rate your chances?
Pretty good I hope, there has only been one person to do this before me, and he did it in 34 days. I am hoping to do it in 27, so it's quite a chunk off his time but if all goes to plan it should be successful.
Thanks for sparing the time to talk to us Ben. Good luck with the rest of the trip - we’re looking forward to reading all about it.
If you'd like to supoprt Ben and help him reach his fundraising target, you can sponsor him here.