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Norwich father cycling from Greece to Norfolk for global Movember men’s health fundraiser

PUBLISHED: 12:24 25 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:24 25 October 2017

Norwich father and daughter Paul and Katie Strong in Matera, southern Italy, during the Movember charity cycle ride. Picture: SENT IN BY PAUL STRONG

Norwich father and daughter Paul and Katie Strong in Matera, southern Italy, during the Movember charity cycle ride. Picture: SENT IN BY PAUL STRONG

SENT IN BY PAUL STRONG

It has taken 30 years, but a Norwich man is attempting an epic 2,000-mile return bike ride from Greece to Norfolk.

Paul Strong, 55, from Norwich, pictured inTricarico in southern Italy, during his Movember cycle challenge. Picture: KATIE STRONGPaul Strong, 55, from Norwich, pictured inTricarico in southern Italy, during his Movember cycle challenge. Picture: KATIE STRONG

Paul Strong, 55, who splits his year between Mill Hill Road in Norwich and the Peloponnese in Greece, has started his tough challenge in aid of Movember - which highlights men’s health issues.

He completed the cycling route from Wells to Greece in 1987 in three months on a second hand Claud Butler.

Mr Strong, a father of three daughters, said: “Bits of it are tougher than before. Generally I’m holding up alright. I think I will be done with cycling when I finish.”

Movember is a global annual fundraising month in November, which started in 2003, and sees millions of men growing moustaches for awareness of prostate and testicular cancer as well as mental health problems.

Mr Strong, a former lecturer of economics history who did two weeks worth of training, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2017 but received the all-clear in September.

He started his ride in Koroni, Greece, and has reached Calerno on the Amalfi Coast in Italy after cycling 700 miles.

The 55-year-old aims to end his challenge at the Birdcage pub on Norwich Lanes, at the end of November.

“I’m really looking forward to drinking a pint from the Birdcage and eating some fish and chips from the Grosvenor,” he added.

As well as raising awareness of men going to the doctors and getting tested when they have symptoms of prostate cancer, he is an advocate of talking about mental health.

Mr Strong said: “The biggest cause of death in young men under the age of 45 is suicide.”

He described suicide as a “plague” among young men.

The campaigner, whose father is Greek, will carry on his adventure through France after leaving Italy.

Mr Strong has been joined by his middle daughter, Katie Strong, 20, from Norwich, for part of the Italian stretch which he said was “wonderful”.

He has had to ride her bike from when she was 11 - to be replaced - for that stage.

“It has done incredibly well - it is not designed for this.”

To donate search https://mobro.co/paulnstrong or follow the Norwich Lanes Facebook page and Twitter feed @NorwichLanes for updates.

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