Billy takes on the longest stage of Billy’s Big Red Nose Challenge yet as he aims to cover 65 miles on his bike today
Earlier today Billy was surprised by Cheryl, who joined him part way through his journey to offer her support
Cheryl was one of the original celebrities to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for Red Nose Day in 2009
Money raised by Red Nose Day this year will help tackle issues including homelessness, hunger, domestic abuse and mental health problems, all of which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, in the UK and around the world
For more info visit comicrelief.com/billy-monger
Thursday 25th February: Cheryl surprised Billy Monger for the third stretch of his exhausting triathlon inspired challenge today, to offer her support in his bid to raise life changing cash for Red Nose Day.
Today Billy faces the longest distance so far, with a punishing 65 mile cycle to complete, starting in Birmingham city centre this morning. Having not cycled since before his accident over three years ago, Billy had just six weeks to prepare, and with today’s route taking him on the steepest climbs of the challenge so far, hearing from supporters is really helping to spur him on.
Cheryl, who is no stranger to such epic fundraising challenges for Red Nose Day having been one of the original celebrities to successfully climb Mount Kilimanjaro in 2009 raising millions of pounds, joined Billy earlier today at one of his pitstops.
Cheryl said: “I knew I had to come out today to offer Billy a push of support. I can't believe he'd cycled nearly 40 miles when I met him. He came in with the biggest smile on his face.
“He has already been challenged so much in his life and he's overcome it with a strong mind. Now he's choosing to challenge himself again for other people in need. That tells you all you need to know about Billy. He's an amazing person.
“I feel like I've come full circle as 12 years ago I was doing my challenge for Red Nose Day. I will never forget my time on Kilimanjaro.
“I'm totally rooting for him and I hope the rest of the British public do too.”
Billy said: “I was really struggling this morning with some big hills and a few problems with my back. We pulled in for a pit stop and the last thing I expected to see was Cheryl. She's done a Comic Relief challenge herself, so it was nice to have a chat about our experiences. I was totally surprised. It's given me a real boost to get back in and saddle this afternoon.”
Reflecting on the challenge so far, Billy added: “The first time I got on a bike after my accident, I just couldn't get the hang of it. I wore elbow pads in case I fell off. That was only six weeks ago and now I'm attempting to cycle 65 miles in one day. My legs feel rested after the kayak day yesterday, but I know I've got a tough day ahead of me. The terrain is up and down for a lot of the morning so there's a danger that fatigue could set in.
“Given the delays because of the weather earlier in the week, I haven't clocked up as many miles as I wanted, despite having two really tough days. It means today is all about clocking up the maximum distance I can. Today is going to be an important day.” So far this week, Billy has walked 18 miles and kayaked over 6 miles, in his bid to raise as much money as possible for Red Nose Day.
Scott Tares, Billy’s cycling chaperone, said: “There will be a lot of stopping and starting as we head out of the city centre, so Billy will need to get the hang of clipping and unclipping pretty quickly. He's very strong but there are a lot of hills for him to climb today and fatigue could be a real problem. I've got no doubt that Billy can do this, but he shouldn't underestimate how tough it's going to be.”
People at home will be able to see all the highs and lows of Billy’s challenge in an hour-long special documentary, filmed by a reduced crew that will be adhering to strict Covid-19 guidelines throughout the challenge, on BBC One in March.
Money raised by Red Nose Day this year will help tackle issues including homelessness, hunger, domestic abuse, and mental health problems, all of which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, in the UK and around the world.
To support Billy, go to comicrelief.com/billy-monger