Grosvenor Rowing Club Race Around Ireland
On 18th September 2010 at 03:59, a four-man team including members of Grosvenor Rowing Club finished a third out of six in the four-person team section of the gruelling Race Around Ireland, one of the toughest cycling events in the world, covering the 1350 mile course in 79 hours and 49 minutes.
The non-stop race is part of the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association (UMCA) World Cup series and loops around the entire country, passing some of Ireland’s most famous landmarks and crossing no less than 25 major climbs as well as many smaller hills. It is the ultimate test of endurance, strength and mental toughness for elite and leisure cyclists alike. Unlike other cycling races such as the Tour de France, the course is in no way roped off and racers have to deal with numerous obstacles such as traffic and wildlife on the route.
Team RPM comprising of Grosvenor rowers Rick Anderson, Paul Turner, Matt Neame and Paul’s brother Matt, all sports enthusiasts but cycling novices, started the race at 8pm on 14th September alongside their loyal support crew and had to battle hard to reach the finish, overcoming many obstacles on the way. On their return to the North West, Paul Turner summarised “The whole event can only be described as brutal – mostly down to the weather. One particular highlight for me was cycling at three in the morning past Giant’s Causeway into a 60mph headwind and driving rain! The wind and rain were ever-present for the first two days, making it very tough. Throw in illness, injuries, five hours sleep in a 94 hour period and even one hospital admission and we did really well to finish third, not far behind a crack Irish cycling team”.
In addition to the personal challenge, the group were also raising money along the way for two chosen charities. The Male Cancer Awareness Campaign (MCAC), http://www.malecancer.org, aims to to increase awareness of how to detect the symptoms of cancer in the early stages and to help build a culture where embarrassment does not prevent men from addressing problems with intimate parts of their bodies. Their second chosen charity is Clatterbridge Cancer Research http://www.ccrt.org.uk which works to fund research to advance the understanding of cancer for the people of Merseyside and Cheshire, which has the worst cancer mortality rates in the country. This is an independent charity which receives no NHS funding and relies solely upon public donations to survive.
The team are well on their way to reaching their £8000 target and further donations can be made at the team’s website at http://www.team-rpms.com.