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Pilgrims Challenge calls for 1,000 cyclists to raise £100k for hospices

Posted on 29 January 2013

Cyclists across east Kent are being urged to sign up for the county’s biggest one day bike challenge to raise money for Pilgrims Hospices.

The Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge, with starting points at each of the charity’s locations in Canterbury, Ashford and Thanet, will be held on Sunday 5 May. Cyclists can choose between an exacting 75 miles long route taking in all three locations or two 45 mile routes both starting in Canterbury but finishing at either Ashford or Thanet.

Sponsors and supporters gathered at Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury on Monday (28 January) to launch this year’s challenge.

The ride has become Pilgrims Hospices single most important fundraising event since it first began in 2010.

More than 700 riders wheeled out for the occasion in 2012 and between them raised £83,000 for the hospices. For 2013, Pilgrims is hoping 1,000 people will sign up to help hit a magic total of £100,000.

Registration for the challenge is now open and can be found via Early birds can sign up for a £25 entry fee.

Regional Fundraising Manager Deborah Kellond said: “We’re delighted to be hosting the cycle challenge once more and hope we can capitalise on the growing interest in cycling since British successes in 2012 at the Olympics and the Tour de France.

“The event is one of the most popular in our fundraising calendar for sporty individuals, teams or with people who simply want to help their local hospices in memory of a loved one.

“We will also be offering trophies to the team and the individual who raises the most money and really want teams from businesses, education, friends and families to take part this year.

“Novices will be able to build up their stamina and confidence with a series of six training rides before the big day. Getting in shape for the challenge will also help anybody who might be wanting to shed a few pounds after the excesses of Christmas and New Year.”

Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge is being supported by a number of sponsors including Barretts of Canterbury, Noel Tatt, London Array, Biketart, MPG Properties and Kent Construction Focus Group.

Among this year’s sponsors are the Kent Construction Focus Group and member of the chair group Ella Brocklebank is taking part this year.

She said: “We supported the challenge in 2012 and felt it was such a brilliant event and raised a huge amount of money for Pilgrims. We’re delighted to be involved once again and hope to get a larger team this time from our member supporters as well as sponsoring it

“KCFG supports local people setting up in construction and so it’s good we can support a local charity as well.”

Ian Ashton, of  Pilgrims catering department, is a keen cyclist and has already signed up for the 2013 challenge.

He said: “This is a great way to start the events season and a good distance at the beginning of the year. I ride regularly with a cycling group and several of us have had friends and relatives who have been cared for by Pilgrims, so this is a good way for us to give something back to our local charity.”


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