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Carnoustie woman overwhelmed by response to Edinburgh-Angus cycle challenge in dad’s memory

Triumphant charity cyclist Claire Penman at the Carnoustie finish line.
Triumphant charity cyclist Claire Penman at the Carnoustie finish line.

Cycling friends have racked up the miles and cash for good causes with a successful Edinburgh to Angus pedal.

In a tribute to the figure who remains in her thoughts every day, Claire Penman from Carnoustie used fond memories of her father to power her on the 78-mile journey from the capital with Carnoustie Boys’ Brigade captain Neil Russell.

Claire on the Forth Road Bridge.

They have been delighted by the response to the challenge, with Claire set to split just under £4,400 between the British Heart Foundation and Carnoustie Church.

Her father, Alex, passed away just over six years ago at the age of 78 after a heart attack.

The company secretary at Montrose Golf Links, Claire tackled a London to Paris charity cycle a decade ago and decided to take on the latest venture in memory of her dad after getting back in the saddle during lockdown.

Claire, 37, said: “It was a beautiful clear day when we undertook the cycle.

“We started from the Scott Monument at 7.45am, albeit a bit cold to start with, but it did warm up after we got across the Forth Road Bridge.

“Cycling into Carnoustie Golf Hotel with people cheering and clapping was a brilliant feeling even more so having my mum present at the finish.”

Neil Russell and Claire Penman successfully completed their Edinburgh to Angus cycle challenge,

She added: “I’m a competitive golfer so I wanted to link the golf into this at the finish too.”

After a brief halt there, she pedalled the final couple of miles to her ultimate destination of her father’s grave at Shanwell cemetery in Carnoustie.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my dad,” said Claire.

“His sudden passing left a huge void in my life – it doesn’t seem like six years ago that we lost him.

“After getting back in the saddle during lockdown, I thought this would be a perfect way to remember my dad and raise funds for two worthy causes and I have been overwhelmed by the donations given.

Neil, who was raised funds for the hall fund of the 1st Carnoustie Boys’ Brigade Company and Girls’ Association has raised more than £2,800 through his effort – passing the £2.5k target he had set for himself.

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