THE heat of the classroom is nothing compared to the searing temperatures two PE teachers endured on a six-week marathon charity cycle.

Jim and Sheelagh McKeon, who teach at All Saints' Language College, Rawtenstall, embarked on a gruelling challenge after school broke up.

The couple cycled from Belgium to the South of France to raise money for Rossendale and East Lancashire Hospices, which cared for Sheelagh's mother Mary Greenwood who died of lung cancer on December 27 last year.

Jim, 47, and Sheelagh, 48, completed up to 100 kilometres a day -- despite having to endure the 40 degree heat that followed them from Celebrate in Belgium to Marseille in the South of France.

They passed through Dunkerque, Paris, Fontainbleau, St Etienne, Le Puy, Ales and Montpellier to complete the trip.

Pupils have already raised £1,000 through penny collections in school, although Jim and Sheelagh are looking to boost this by another £5,000 by asking pupils to guess how many miles they managed to complete during the trip..

Sheelagh said: "We did really well. Three people flew out to join us for a week, one of them must have had about 10 punctures in that time whereas we didn't have one puncture throughout the trip, which was amazing.

"The heat got a bit much sometimes as it was very, very hot and was sometimes more than 40 degrees which is good in one respect because I lost half a stone."

We are also waiting the outcome of a Thwaites meeting on September 17 which is when they will decide if they can donate £1,000."