OLYMPIAN Holly Bleasdale is taking on a marathon bike ride to raise money for a local hospice.

The 20-year-old Blackburn Harrier has set her sights on the 26-mile challenge fresh from the London 2012 Olympics, where she finished sixth in the pole vault.

The Liverpool to Leyland fundraiser was the idea of Holly’s fiance Paul Bradshaw, who wanted to set himself a tough challenge to raise cash for St Catherine’s Hospice in Preston, where his grandma Renee Bradshaw was cared for.

Paul, 24, who teaches in the sports department at Runshaw College, Leyland, said: “My grandma was in St Catherine’s for about three weeks before she died — I remember visiting her and what a lovely place it is. I was only young then, but my granddad and my dad both rate the hospice and it’s always been passed on to me what great work they do .

“I think sometimes people think it might be a depressing place but that’s so far from the truth. If we can help break down those myths at the same time as raising some money to support their work that will be brilliant.”

Holly is also keen to ‘give something back’ after focusing all her efforts and energy on the Olympics over the past 12 months.

She said: “I’m happy we’re able to do something to help support the specialised care St Catherine’s provides.”

Holly, the current British world record holder in the pole vault, said she wasn’t nervous about coming out of her sporting comfort zone, but admitted: “I normally only ride a stationary bike in training . At least the route is flat!”

Paul, who represented Great Britain in the 800m at the European Under 23s Championships in 2009, said pacing himself would be key to his success in the challenge.

The ride takes place on October 14.