A DETERMINED trio have cycled from St Columba’s Abbey to St Columba’s Hospice in memory of a friend who died from cancer.

Husband-and-wife Jonathan and Roz Bruneau, who own East Lothian’s Pumpkin Patch Nurseries, were joined by Anthony Stodart, of Kingston, near North Berwick, to cover more than 160 miles from Iona to Edinburgh in just three days.

Torrential rain did little to slow them down as they covered the distance and raised more than £8,000 for St Columba’s Hospice.

Roz, from Belhaven, was delighted with the amount raised in memory of their friend Sarah Struthers, who died from bowel cancer last summer aged 53.

Sarah spent her final weeks at the Edinburgh hospice where she and her family received superb care and support.

Roz, 50, said: “Sarah lived at Tyninghame for a while and she was everyone’s friend.

“Anthony said that it is always the best people that are taken early.

“She was just the most wonderful, caring, kind and lovely person.

“She left behind three kids and they now live in Edinburgh.

“She has lots of friends out here and I think that is why we have raised so much money. She was a favourite of the hospice and she retained her sense of humour.”

The trio set off from St Columba’s Abbey on September 18 and covered 40 miles across Mull on the first day.

The second day saw them clock up nearly 60 miles as they ventured from Oban to Lochearnhead, with the final day seeing them reach the charity hospice in Edinburgh.

Roz said the sun was on hand to see them off… and did not appear again until they reached the finish line in the Capital.

The trio wanted to give something back to the hospice, which provides end-of-life care for people with incurable illnesses and their families.

Roz told the Courier: “This year, they are really struggling for funds.

“I help them organise a ladies lunch and we were meant to be having a September Ball but it was all called off.

“We thought we would go some way to raise some funds and we have raised just over £8,000.”

Belhaven Bikes gave a free service to Roz, 55-year-old Jonathan and 50-year-old Anthony’s bikes before they set off on the trek.

Roz added: “The weather was so bad, which made it really quite tough but there was great camaraderie.

“We had the scenery, which is always beautiful. It was busy on the roads because it was changeover day on the Saturday and there were lots of boats passing us on trailers and caravans.”

Claire Bolt, events manager at the charity, was delighted with the trio’s efforts. She said: “St Columba’s Hospice Care would like to thank Roz, Jonathan and Anthony for their incredible fundraising effort in memory of their friend Sarah Struthers.

“As our traditional Celtic Challenge was unable to happen this year, it was heart-warming to see Roz and her group go to the lengths they did to recreate the event, and raise a phenomenal amount.

“As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact lives, we are lucky to have such a terrific supporter base, including these three super cyclists, who have pulled together to ensure that we can continue to provide essential end-of-life care to our community.”

Donate at justgiving.com/fundraising/stodsandroz