The halow250 2018 nicknamed #MagnificentSeven came to a triumphant close today as the team of 100 cyclists made their way to the final stop near Guildford to complete the final leg of their tough journey.
Cyclists awoke to an early start when the ferry pulled in to Portsmouth at 6.45am this morning. After a tough 117 miles in France, the riders welcomed a shorter (albeit hilly!) route of 50 miles to reach Clock Barn Hall for the Welcome Home Party.
The riders still had to overcome the hills of the South Downs and thankfully the first official support stop was at 25 miles was at Stedham Village Hall, just outside Midhurst. Thanks to Eat Natural Bars, the riders had plenty of snacks to keep them fuelled for the race for the finish line.
The last stop of the day was at the Young's pub the White Hart, Witley where cyclists gathered together so that the whole peleton could cycle the final few miles to Clock Barn Hall, Godalming where families and friends were waiting to greet them.
At the head of the peleton coming through the finishing arch was Sam Austin who had himself completed 250 miles – 200 on a static bike outside Waitrose, Guildford on Friday and Saturday – and then joining the halow250 cyclists on the Day 3 route. Following closely behind was the tandem with Nick Ivil and his tandem cycling partner Nigel Trumper, who now have done the halow250 a staggering 5 times!
Damon Hill brought in the rear of the peleton, supporting one young person, Harri, who was finding the inclines challenging. Damon can always be found supporting the young people on the ride and so today was no different. Reminding us all what this event is really all about!
A joyous crowd of family, friends, halow young people, staff, volunteers and supporters gathered to cheer the halow250 cyclists through the arch and into the reception area where halow young people waited with the 2018 medals for riders. It was a fantastic and emotional atmosphere watching the riders cross the finish line after a demanding three days of cycling. halow young people cheered and applauded each rider as they came through the finish line and handed out a well-earned medal to each rider. Of course, after cycling 250 miles a celebratory glass of Prosecco was had by our riders and a BBQ was then enjoyed by all.
George Willis from GM Recruitment the halow250 cycle ride organiser made an inspirational speech to cyclists reviewing the last 3 days cycling and the challenges they faced. He also acknowledged the young people static cycle team and of course young cyclists Sam and Nick. Young people were then able to reveal the fundraising total which totalled a staggering £72,438! (photo credit: James "JP" Pearce)
This is the seventh halow250 and in that time the cycle ride has raised over £500,000 for the charity in total across the years. Our grateful thanks go to George Willis and Mark Foxwell of GM Recruitment who through their unstinting commitment to the halow250 have created so many more opportunities and services for our young people over those years.
The halow250 would not be possible without our generous sponsors who support the ride with a range of resources. Thanks to their continuous support, every penny raised will go straight towards our services for young people. This year’s sponsors are: Youngs, Cheevers Howard, Skyes, Arrow, Exchequer, Kirk Rice, ÜUTENSIL , Orchard Pig, Elswood Cycleworks and MotorLux Newbury.
An extra special thank you goes to the support team who volunteered their time this weekend and helped the riders through a gruelling 3 days. Finally and most importantly, thank you to every single one of the cyclists who worked hard in training, riding the full 250 miles and raising vital funds for halow, helping to change lives of young people with a learning disability.
If you have been inspired by the halow250 riders, please make a donation to the halow250 2018 campaign please join the halow250 riders in making a difference for young people with a learning disability.