A PAIR of retired teachers are setting out on marathon fundraising challenge to commemorate their school's 500th anniversary.

Rob Peel and Iain McDougall are both former staff members at Pocklington School and have left their teaching days behind, but this summer they will turn their sights to school again when they set out on a 500 mile charity cycle ride from John O'Groats to the school.

The idea for the ride came from Rob, who took up cycling on his retirement three years ago. When he realised the journey from John O'Groats to Pocklington was almost exactly 500 miles he decided it was a great opportunity to tie the ride in with his former school's 500th anniversary this year.

He said: “We will be setting off from John o’Groats on Wednesday 14 May on the first leg of our 500-mile ride to Pocklington. We are planning to stay with former pupils along the way as well as with friends and relatives. All being well, we will arrive back in Pocklington on Friday 23 May in time for the school’s Quincentenary Founder’s Day Service at York Minster the following day.”

Colleague Iain, who retired in summer last year, soon decided to join him, and the pair have been in training for almost a year. They have chosen five charities to benefit from their ride, including one set up in the memory of one of their former pupils.

Twenty six year old Holly Mills died in 2011 after a nine year battle with vCJD, and the charity DERG was set up by her parents to fund research into degenerative brain conditions.

Iain and Rob have set a fundraising target of £5000 and will split all the cash raised between DERG, The Teenage Cancer Trust, Children with Cancer (formerly Children with Leukaemia), The Lymphoma Association, and Nkoakirika Primary School in Poli, Tanzania - where Iain and a group of pupils and staff from Pocklington stayed and worked on a school trip.

For more information or to make a donation to the challenge, called #jogpock, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/jogpock.