FOUR friends from Andover have cycled for 12 hours as part of their biggest challenge yet – to raise £4,000 by climbing 24 peaks in 24 hours.

Lucilia Holder and Carly Fulford, both 37, 31-year-old Eleni Readman and 50-yearold Verity Brooker took part in the challenge on a stationary exercise bike in reception at Andover Leisure Centre, and raised £361 towards their fundraising target.

But the ride is just the starter. The main challenge is yet to come.

In June, the friends will descend on the Lake District to climb 24 peaks in 24 hours and raise more money for the Institute of Cancer Research.

Lucilia, a fitness instructor at Andover Leisure Centre, said: “It’s a charity that’s very close to all of us. We have all known and loved someone that’s been affected by cancer, and we’d like to help put a stop to it.”

During the exhausting challenge, the women will scale 14 peaks the first day and ten the next.

“Thinking about it frightens me,” said Lucilia. “But it will be a great story to tell the grandkids, and I can add to my medal collection.”

The friends are training at Andover Leisure Centre’s gym, and have been set a programme to help them build up stamina and endurance.

Teri Wilson, fitness and studio co-ordinator at the leisure centre, said: “We’re very proud of what the women are doing and the challenge they’ve taken on.

“They’ve been training well, and I’m sure they’ll reach their amazing target.”

The four friends are also taking part in training walks around Andover to prepare them for the climb.

Sponsor the group at the Virgin Money Giving web site. To find the girls’ page, just search for Eleni.