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Simon Cycles From Harrogate to Paris to Run a Marathon

On April 1st, one of our supporters Simon Thomas, will kick off an extraordinary journey, a solo 500-mile bike ride from Harrogate all the way to Paris. As if this wasn’t enough, he’ll then tackle the renowned Paris Marathon, all in one week! 

Simon Thomas with bike wearing an Open Arms Malawi vest

Despite his passion for cycling, Simon acknowledges the daunting nature of this challenge. "It's not going to be a walk in the park," he admits. "Physically and mentally, it's going to push me to my limits, especially on that first day when I have to tackle 122 miles with all my gear on a heavy bike." However, Simon anticipates that the real trial will be the marathon segment of the journey. "I'm not a runner," he confesses, citing a knee condition that limits his running ability. "I've never attempted a marathon, or even a half marathon for that matter."  

Despite the challenges ahead, Simon is determined to conquer this test of endurance and perseverance as it isn't just about personal achievement; Simon is using his feat to raise crucial funds for Open Arms Malawi.

Reflecting on his inspiration for this daunting undertaking Simon shares, "As I approach my 50th year, I wanted to mark the occasion with something truly impactful. My visit to Malawi back in 1998 left an indelible mark on me - the resilience and warmth of the people, despite the immense challenges they face, stayed with me. Open Arms Malawi's dedication to keeping families together and offering children a nurturing environment resonated deeply with me, making them the ideal choice for my fundraising."

Simon is hoping to raise a staggering £3000 and is well on his way to achieving this. He hopes to get to Paris by Friday 5th April, then runs the marathon on Sunday 7th April. To stay updated on Simon's challenge or to support his fundraising, please visit Simon Thomas is fundraising for Open Arms Malawi (

We are incredibly grateful to Simon for attempting this phenomenal challenge and we wish him all the best with his journey.

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