While the rest of Sheffield was tucking into chocolate eggs, restaurateur Gian Bohan spent Easter Day on a diet of energy rations as he embarked on a gruelling 24-hour endurance test…
Gian mounted a stationary bike outside his Nonnas restaurant in Ecclesall Road at 2pm – and pedalled non-stop for more than 550km.
He finally completed his challenge at 2pm on Monday: exhausted, saddle-sore, but having raised over £2,000 towards his latest charity project.
“The hardest part was at 3am,” he admitted. “It had been raining since 1am and I had a bit of a low. But in the end it built to a crescendo and I felt like one of those big celebrity fundraisers.”
It was the supporters who kept him going, he said – including a priest who returned with a donation, an experienced 24-hour runner who called by to offer him tips and an older cyclist who completed a similar feat more than three decades ago.
Fellow members of La Squadra cycling club did their bit, pedalling alongside Gian throughout the night to keep him on track. And elite rider Russ Downing joined him for the final 20 minutes.
“It was great – it’s been an amazing weekend altogether,” said Gian, who helped to launch Nonnas’ new weekly fresh food market on the Saturday.
His next big challenge will be the Dallaglio Flintoff Cycle Slam 2012, which gets under way on April 23. Gian will join the rugby international and the cricketing legend for two of the five stages, pedalling 1,290km, the length of Italy, to raise money for the Dallaglio Foundation, the AF Foundation and Virgin Unite.
His target has been doubled to £6,000 following the success of Sunday’s marathon. To support him visit: www.virginmoneygiving.com/gianbohan1