Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Olympic challenge for Air Ambulance

Photo: The Olympics to Olympia cyclists pictured on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Tim Stubbings Photography

A dozen cyclists will set off this weekend on a bike ride from the birthplace of the Olympics in Greece to the London 2012 stadium to raise £50,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Canon Edward Condry, Canon Treasurer of Canterbury Cathedral, and his Olympic torch-bearing son Jerome will be among the riders taking part in the challenge.

They will fly out from Gatwick on Thursday (June 28th) before setting off on their 1,500-mile journey from Mount Olympus, where the torch began its journey, on Saturday (June 30th)

Their epic ride will take them through Italy, Switzerland and France before they arrive at Stratford on July 15th - just days before the games get underway. Jerome will then carry the torch through Chatham on July 20th.

Canon Condry said: “The temperature in Greece is going to be in the 30s or even the lower 40s but we’re going to start at about 6am each day to get as much done as possible before it gets too hot.

“At the start of week two at Lucerne in Switzerland, we will be joined by another 15 cyclists who will be cycling back from there with us.

“The day before we will face a 7,000ft climb at Gotthard Pass over the Alps which has 37 hairpin bends, then we swoop down into Lucerne. It’s going to be a wonderful ride.”

Among the 27 riders are Canon Condry, sons Felix and Jerome, Paul Barrett, Kevin May, Cliff Saffrey, Velia Coffey, Ebrina Vogelaar-Kelly, Mark Nugent, Michael Robinson and John and Tina Downie.

They will cycle for up to 10 hours and 100 miles each day and burn off about 6,000 calories, fuelled by the equivalent of 10kg of potatoes, 600 bananas or 15 Christmas cakes. They will also drink up to 10 litres of water a day.

The group of experienced cyclists, aged from 21 to 62, have previously completed charity bike rides to Istanbul and Santiago, from Land’s End to John O’Groats, Canterbury to Rome and London to Paris.

This year they are raising funds for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on public donations and have so far raised a fantastic £35,000.

To sponsor their 2012 challenge visit www.kent.fundraiseairambulance.co.uk/o2o_2012 or to visit their website for daily updates go to http://www.o2o2012.org/ . To donate, text AIR OLYMPICS to 70300.

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