St Albans schoolgirls prepare for adventure of a lifetime

WIND and rain did not deter teenagers Rebecca Thornhill and Hannah Crowder when it came to raising funds for an awfully big adventure next year.

Rebecca, 15, of Watford Road, St Albans, and Hannah, also 15, of Martyr Close, St Albans, hope to be taking part in the 2011 World Challenge in India next year through their school, Marlborough.

But part of the challenge is that they need to raise the money to pay for the trip themselves without relying on their parents to help.

They had already raised money towards the �2,700 they need for the trip by bag packing at local supermarkets and some babysitting – but soon realised they needed to do more.

So last month, accompanied by their dads Richard Thornhill and Ray Crowder with their mums as support crew, they set off to cycle from Land’s End back to St Albans, a trip of around 360 miles.

The girls, who have been friends for nearly a decade, had not cycled for the previous few years so the ride was a particular challenge for them.

But they succeeded in covering 350 miles of hills, wind and rain at a rate of 50 miles a day – up to 10 hours in the saddle on some occasions.

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The girls had trained on some of the hills around St Albans but they described them as little more than speed bumps compared to what they found in Devon and Cornwall.

And despite the rigours of the trip, they both felt it was an experience they would never forget and they managed to raise a lot of sponsorship money in the process.

Anyone wanting to donate some money to the girls’ fundraising can do so through