Notts: Former Sergeant Major defies doctors orders to cycle 870-mile journey for Help for Heroes

Whilst 197 riders tackle the gruelling three-week Tour de France challenge, one man is preparing to push his own body to the limits in a bid to raise money for charity.

Tuesday, 8th July 2014, 3:35 pm

Gerry Burt, a former Sergeant Major with 24 years service in the Armed Forces, is going to cycle 870 miles from Land’s End to the John O’Groats, located in the North of Scotland, for Help for Heros.

Burt is set to smash the £1,000 initial target he set for those who have never had the chance to have operations to save lower limbs and now has his eyes on doubling that sum.

The 47-year-old, who moved to Eaton, Retford, two years ago after leaving the army in 2009, will depart on 31st August and is aiming to cycle 130 miles a day to complete the journey in two weeks.

Not bad going for someone who has had seven major operations on his knees - one of which was a knee replacement.

“This is all part of rehabilitation, I have done a lot of cycling since I stopped running,” Burt told the Guardian.

“I just want to give something back to the Forces. I have been training for nearly two and a half months for this so hopefully I can raise as much for them as I canS”

As part of his preparation for the mammoth event, Burt has been helping others to achieve their goals.

Every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning, Burt holds military type sessions at Rother Valley Country Park.

His core fitness excersises have prepared people to tackle Tough Mudder challenges amongst other things whilst three of his students have followed in his footsteps and joined the forces.

His methods have proved so successful that he also trains the South Yorkshire Police force.

“We meet at the Golf Clubhouse and I just help people achieve their own fitness goals,” Burt added.

“They are only one-hour sessions, but people seem to get a lot from them just as I have .”

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Burt sets up new Gladiator challenge

Following the success of his military training sessions in Rother Valley Country Park, Gerry Burt has set up a Gladiator log run challenge to test South Yorkshire’s fitness freaks to the maximum.

In a race against the clock, the challenge is a gruelling 1.9 mile cross training route through Rother Valley and Mr Burt has proclaimed that the search for South Yorkshire’s quickest team is underway.

The course can be completed by either an all male or all female line-up and costs £45 to complete.

“Gladiator is a huge challenge that really will push everybody to the limit,” Burt said.

“It’s a great test to see which team can do the course in the quickest time. It’s open all year round and is accessible for any team who really want to give it a go.”