In the summer of 2014, we helped support Gareth Hopkins, Chris Williams, Emily Graham and Martha Carrick as they set out to cycle from London to Paris to raise money for SCOPE. SCOPE is a well-deserving charity who aims to drive change across society so that disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else.
The London to Paris cycle took place on the 5th and 6th July and saw the four physiotherapists battle mentally and physically to complete the 288 miles to Paris. Following months of preparation, the team set off from Blackheath and headed the 90 miles to Dover. Upon their arrival at the port, the already mighty challenge that lay ahead became even more arduous; the heavens opened and the torrential rain continued for the following 18 hours.
The team had six French legs to complete, each totalling around 40 miles and as their goal was to complete the ride within 24 hours this left no time for sleep. As they pushed further towards Paris in the pouring rain, fatigue and mental exhaustion began to set in. On the occasions that they did take a brief break at the rest stops; it was to stock up on carbs which proved to be essential after the 18,000 calories Gareth alone had expended by the time he crossed the finish line!
Gareth, Chris, Emily and Martha finished in 26 hours. Although this was outside of their original goal, with the atrocious weather to contend with, the team did exceptionally well to complete the ride. Out of the 300+ participants, less than 25% cycled the entire distance and only eight people finished within the 24 hour time frame. As a team they raised over £4,500 contributing towards the incredible £300,000 total that the whole event raised for SCOPE.
Gareth Hopkins, spokesperson for the team commented, “As a team we would like to extend our huge thanks to everyone at Explore for helping us with sponsorship and publicity for the event”.
All of us at Explore send our huge congratulations to the whole team for completing the challenge and of course for raising in excess of £4,500 for a brilliant charity.