A huge congratulations to the Bath Rugby Foundation team of cyclists who yesterday completed the gruelling John O'Groats to Land's End Deloitte Ride Across Britain.
The team of 34 riders, including Bath Rugby legends Andy Beattie, David Flatman, Danny Grewcock and Lewis Moody and Olympic silver medallist Heather Fell, cycled 982 in nine days to finally cross the finish line in Cornwall yesterday afternoon.
Along with another 47 riders, including Bath Chief Executive Nick Blofeld, who joined them along the route, our intrepid riders have raised an incredible £92,500 for the Foundation so far.
Whilst enjoying some breath-taking scenery, the group were cycling up to 122 miles a day, often into a headwind and frequently in heavy rain, only to sleep in a tent in the middle of a field at the end of it. Despite this the group kept themselves in high spirits with great camaraderie and some inventive games along the way.
At the finish line (after he'd got his breath!) Danny said; "I've faced some pretty tough challenges in my time, but this is by far the toughest. Cycling over 100 miles a day, knowing when you finish that you have to get up at 5am and do the same again the next day is both physically and mentally draining, so the feeling of having got to this point is a mix of incredible pride at completing such a gruelling challenge, and relief that we won't have to be getting back on the bikes tomorrow!
"I have a huge amount of admiration for everyone involved in the ride, both on the cycling side of things and the organisation itself, and would like to thank all our supporters for their fantastic generosity in donating to this very worthwhile cause – that's what kept us going every day."
Setting an inspirational example for the rest of Foundation team was Bath Rugby Strength and Conditioning Coach, Matt Middleton, who consistently finished each daily stage in the top ten riders and was one of the first riders in on the final day.
A total of approximately 1,000 riders took part in the Deloitte Across Britain challenge over the nine days. Between them they cycled a combined distance of 785,000 miles and burned a combined amount of 18,160,000 calories. They climbed a combined height of 51,180 feet (Mount Everest is 29,002 feet high!) and over the nine days each rider did around 345,600 pedal revolutions.
All the hard-earned funds raised will help the Bath Rugby Foundation change the lives of many children and young people in the local area. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Bath Rugby Foundation is an independent charity, 100 per cent funded by grants and donations from businesses and individuals. Their aim, through their award-winning Education and Inclusion programmes, is to enhance the lives of children and young people through sport, in particular those who have a disadvantaged lifestyle. The Foundation helped 22,500 children in 2012 and is proud to have worked with over 125,000 children since it started in 2003.