Magnificent duo aiming to make it seven for charity

Andy Dearlove, 39, and Simon Browning, 42, iin Brighton at the end of the London to Brighton bike ride in June
Andy Dearlove, 39, and Simon Browning, 42, iin Brighton at the end of the London to Brighton bike ride in June
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MOST men approaching a mid-life crisis buy themselves a sports car or take up an unsuitable hobby.

But friends Simon Browning and Andy Dearlove have decided instead to get themselves super-fit by taking part in seven tough challenges – dubbed the Magnificent Seven – and raise thousands for charity.

Simon, 42, and Andy, 39, have already taken part in three lengthy bike rides, including 68 miles on the Help for Heroes New Forest Cycle and 108 miles on the South Downs Way Cycle, both in May as well 56 miles on the London to Brighton ride in June.

Last month they faced their biggest challenge yet when they rode 330 miles from London to Paris.

Simon, a marketing consultant, of Barnes Lane in Sarisbury Green, said: ‘I’m now the other side of 40 and with Andy approaching it, it’s that age when everything starts to go a bit so I thought it would be good to do something.

‘We’ve both done a few challenges here and there in the past, so we wanted to do something to make this a bit more worthwhile.

‘London to Paris was the one that made me nervous though, it was three back-to-back 100 mile days. But we had to see it through, we’ve got all the sponsorship money to collect, so we couldn’t let those people down.’

So far they’ve raised £2,200 for their nominated charity, Action Medical Research, which is dedicated to improving the health of babies and children in the UK.

Andy, of Mill Road in Fareham added: ‘I’m coming up to 40 and I wanted to get fit and stay fit, and raise some money for charity.

‘The things this charity does for mothers and mothers-to-be is amazing. We’re trying for a baby at the moment, so it’s a cause close to our hearts.’

Later this month they take on the Warsash Triathlon – a 750m swim, 25 mile ride and 6 mile run, Survival of the Fittest in Cardiff, a six-mile urban obstacle course, and finally the 10-mile Great South Run in Portsmouth in October.

To sponsor them go to