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Stratford team aims to go the extra mile

A determined team of Stratford cyclists are aiming to ride more than 400 miles from Glasgow to London next week in an epic charity challenge in aid of Aplastic Anaemic and Cancer Research UK.

The eight-person team taking part in the 4-day challenge includes a hotelier, brain surgeon, accountant, zoo keeper, doctor, fisherman, IT director and even an ex-professional footballer.

Team member Gregor Richie, explained that the purpose is to support Cancer Research UK and raise awareness of Aplastic Anaemia, a rare life-threatening blood disorder where the bone marrow fails to produce enough red blood cells.

Gregor’s nephew Sandy, who was diagnosed with severe Aplastic Anaemia in 2016 aged just 21, is in remission after undergoing treatment.

Since April last year, when this event was originally scheduled, two close friends of the team have also passed away from cancer, so Cancer Research UK has also been chosen to benefit.

Gregor said “We wanted to do this ride last year and end up at West Ham’s stadium, because one of our friends who was a West Ham supporter was diagnosed with cancer, but sadly we couldn’t and he passed away quite recently.

“We’re all a bit cycle made, we go out cycling together regularly and we know the back lanes of Warwickshire and the surrounding counties quite well, but I wouldn’t say this challenge is going to be a piece of cake, we’ve got some steep stretches, particularly in the first couple of days.

“Stephen Wright, who used to play as a defender for Rangers and Celtic, will be taking part, I support Celtic myself so it’s amazing we get on so well.

“We’re really looking forward to it, we’ve go a support team driving ahead of us and we’ve made about 500 flapjacks to keep us going.”

The group are no strangers to endurance challenges, having cycled from Stratford to Monaco in four days back in 2015, raising an incredible £12,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support in the process.

They are also aiming to raise £12,000 with this challenge, with the money split equally between both causes.

If you would like to support the group visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving/ and search for Ritchie’s Racers.

Ritchie's Racers will set off next Tuesday morning (22nd June) and hope to finish in London on Friday.

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