1,000-mile ride to benefit Lighthouse

Lighthouse students inspect the bike that cyclist Alan Harcombe will use to ride 1,000 miles in 10 days to assist the school with much-needed projects.

A local cyclist is set to ride 1,000 miles in 10 days around the Cayman Islands to raise funds for Cayman’s Lighthouse School in Red Bay.

Alan Harcombe, 47, intends to cycle 100 miles each day between the hours of 4 a.m. and 11 a.m. from April 4 to April 13, as part of his Lighthouse School ‘1,000in10’ charity event.

Harcombe’s hope, in conjunction with the school’s Parent Teacher Association, is to raise thousands of dollars to assist the school with much-needed projects, such as a school playground, enhancements, safety repairs, wheelchair accessibility, 20 iPads, relevant apps for instructional and educational purposes, maintenance of the Sensory Garden, and funding for music therapy.

The ‘1,000in10’ event also kicks off the school’s ‘Will You Be Our Partner’ campaign – a school initiative focussing on encouraging Cayman’s corporate community to partner with the school in developing and assisting the special needs children through volunteerism, community involvement and donations.

Mechon Ebanks, vice president of the Lighthouse School’s Parent Teacher Association, said this is the first time the school is hosting the ‘1,000in10’ fundraiser, and the vision is to make it an annual event.

“The objective is to raise awareness for the Lighthouse School and to raise at least $50,000 for the school’s much needed projects,” she said.

The Lighthouse School houses about 110 primary and secondary students with varied special needs and challenges.

Harcombe, a cycling enthusiast, came up with the idea after attending a parent-teacher meeting at the school. His daughter Jamie, who was born with Down syndrome and a severe congenital heart defect, attends the Lighthouse School.

His passion for cycling began at an early age and he took part in his first cycling race in 1987. He went on to win several races and state championships. He topped off his cycling career with a silver medal in the Cayman Islands Road Cycling championship in 2014.

Harcombe said he had been mulling the idea of the cycling fundraiser for some time and had been in discussions with Lighthouse’s headmaster about doing something to raise money for the school.

“It’s a very happy place and I think they do a lot for the kids there,” Harcombe said.

He acknowledged that cycling 100 miles a day is going to be challenging, but said he plans to ride at a steady pace to get through each day.

“I will be leaving from my home in South Sound every day and just selecting different routes around the island,” he said.

He expects to go around the island a few times. There is no pre-determined route.

“I will just ride the miles on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

He has been in training for the past three months and cycles nearly every day to keep in shape.

“Certainly, riding 100 miles a day on a bike will mean that you have to eat while you are cycling to keep the body from running out of energy. I will eat lots of bananas and drink a long of energy drinks to keep me full,” he said.

Harcombe said the most he has ridden in a single day is 150 miles.

“I certainly haven’t done 100 miles a day for 10 day in a row, that’s for sure,” he added.

“It’s going to be a challenge, but with the purpose in mind it will inspire me to continue.”

For more information, visit the #1000in10 Facebook page, email [email protected] or call 925-5940.

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