Bolton Reservist completes 46 mile bike ride for charity

August 24, 2017

A part-time soldier from Bolton is using her fitness to undertake a physical challenge to raise money for charity whilst maintaining her physical readiness to be able to deploy with the British Army.

Reservist Gunner, Lance Bombardier (LBdr) Kate Jenkins, 31 from Bury, is a serving Reservist with 216 Battery “The Bolton Artillery”, 103 Regiment Royal Artillery. Like all Reservists, she faces the challenge of balancing her demanding family life and civilian role with her Reserve service.  Despite this she has decided to put her rigorous physical training to use in another way and has taken on the challenge to raise funds for a charity close to her heart.

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Having recently returned from maternity leave Kate was looking forward to getting back to her previously high standards of fitness but things didn’t quite go to plan. Her son, Thomas, was diagnosed with MCADD (medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency), a rare genetic condition where a person has problems breaking down fat to use as an energy source.  This means someone with MCADD can become very ill if their body’s energy demands exceed their energy intake, such as during infections or illnesses when they are unable to eat.  MCADD is a lifelong condition that’s present from birth. It’s estimated to affect up to 1 in every 8000 babies born in the UK.  The Doctors told Kate and her partner about CLIMB (Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Disorders), who are the leading patient organisation for inherited metabolic disorders, supporting and helping thousands of families and patients worldwide.

Having been an Army Reservist for that past 4 years Kate was keen to get back to the gym and decided to combine regaining her fitness with raising money and awareness of CLIMB.

Throughout her service Kate has passed Personal Fitness Assessments and Annual Fitness Tests under the guidance of the Regiment’s Physical Training Instructors (PTIs), alongside working on the Regimental equipment of a 105mm light gun which is a physical job in itself.  She also managed to keep up with her own personal fitness such as light weights, walking and swimming right up till the birth and then as soon as she was given the okay by the doctor she was looking at things she could start doing to build her fitness back up. 

Kate said: “I always knew I wanted to get back in my uniform and start attending as and when I could. I had started doing my own personal fitness in between feeds, baby classes and catching up on sleep but now I could get in to the Army Reserve Centre I could utilise the gym and equipment in it such as the bike, treadmill and weights racks.  I could start building myself back up to a decent standard of fitness.  I have recently completed a 15k race and wouldn’t have been able to get my fitness ready if it wasn’t for the time I’ve been able to train at the Army Reserve Centre prior.”

Kate completed the 46 mile bike ride on Sunday 30th July. She decided to ride for CLIMB and take part in the London-Surrey 46 event to help raise awareness not only for Thomas’ condition but all the other rare inherited disorders out there. She wanted to challenge herself and have something to aim for completing this ride. The support and information she received has been invaluable, so this is her way of giving something back.

Kate completed the ride in approximately four hours including breaks.

She said: “From start to finish, the support around the course was amazing. There were people outside their own homes offering refreshments. Thomas, my partner and my dad were there to support me at the finish line.

“It was just a great experience and obviously raising for a charity so close to my heart means a lot.”

After originally setting a target of £500, Kate has raised an impressive £1,671.71 so far.

“I have not really done a sponsored event before and not everybody has got a lot to give so I went through my Facebook friends and just thought if everybody donated 50p that could get me around £500 but I know people have donated £100. I have been blown away with everybody’s generosity.”