Five decades of challenges mark Ian’s fiftieth year

Ian Mercer who is doing five big challenges to mark his 50th birthday.
Ian Mercer who is doing five big challenges to mark his 50th birthday.

Never one for going through life in the slow lane, Halton man Ian Mercer is stepping up a gear to mark his 50th birthday year.

In the past, Ian, who turned 50 on March 27, has undertaken some breathtaking physical feats including last year’s challenge in which he cycled the length of the country and climbed the UK’s three highest peaks along the way.

Ian’s Five Decades of Challenges kicked off on April 27, when he completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Race.

He will run 42 miles from Keswick to Barrow this weekend, May 11, and then undertake the 112 mile Fred Whitton Route Cycle Ride on June 1.

Probably the most challenging event of the five is Ian’s “50 at 50”, on June 14, when he will attempt to run 50 peaks in the Lake District, covering a distance of 70 miles - in just 24 hours.

His final challenge will be the Coast to Coast cycle route, covering 190 miles in two days, on June 29-30. Lancaster Guardian reporter Nick Lakin will be joining Ian’s group for the coast to coast ride.

Ian, who works at Lancaster University said: “I have decided to do a challenge for each decade of my life so far and in the process raise money for two worthy charities; the Coronary Care Unit at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, in memory of my mum, mother-in-law and uncle who died within 10 months of each other of coronary problems, and Unique Kids after school club in Lancaster.”