Derry girl Corina McIntosh has just completed a marathon charity cycle from London to Paris in aid of the Foyle Hospice.
In completing the 300 mile trip, the Lincoln Courts girl not only overcame the French mountains but also the scepticism of her boyfriend and parents.
Corina told the Journal: “I was never really into cycling. My boyfriend and I got into the ride to work scheme, cycling to work instead of driving and it started from there.”
Corina and partner David had originally planned to go travelling this summer but when those plans fell through she signed up for the cycle; “Mostly as something to do.”
Her plan wasn’t greeted with much confidence by those around her: “My boyfriend said I would ‘never see that deposit again.’ Mammy and Daddy (Paul and Gail), laughed at me. No one believed I could do it, which spurred me on.”
In proving them wrong, Corina collected £1, 300. Having departed Crystal Palace last Wednesday the cyclists arrived in Paris on Saturday. “Wednesday was the hardest day of the four, we had to get to ferry at 4.45pm which meant a 95 mile route in ten hours. It was really lashing down, I was completely drenched in the rain. Standing soaked, shivering trying to eat a chicken wrap while pouring water puddles out of my shoes, I just wanted to go home at that stage.”
Arriving in Paris at 4.30pm, Corina said: “It was brilliant, we all stopped outside Paris and cycled the last two miles to the Eiffel Tower together.
“Everyone was cheering us on, car horns were pumping as we finished which was great. The traffic was basically stopped for the 138 people who did it. I was the only person doing it to raise funds for the Hospice and the only Derry girl too.”
Corina who lives and works in Belfast choose the Foyle Hospice because; “My aunty, two grandfathers and granny all went though the Hospice. It is a great charity and means something to everyone in the town.”
The cycling obviously came with a few rewards as Corina promised to “definitely keep up the cycling,” as “I lost five pounds in four days cycling from Belfast to Derry” and “can use cycling as an excuse to eat what I want.”
The Waterside girl added if anyone else wishes to sponsor her, they can do so via www.justgiving.com/corina-mcintosh