Hallidays team members Lizzi Rutter and Chelsea Peacock, both from Stockport, took to the saddle to support Francis House and completed the ‘Christie Manchester to Blackpool Bike Ride’.
Supporting Hallidays new chosen charity, Francis House Children’s Hospice, they kickstarted their fundraising with a magnificent £400, a figure that is still growing!
Attended by around 7,000 cyclists, the 63-mile route from Salford Quays to Blackpool is popular with cyclists of all abilities. Lizzi and Chelsea both decided to undertake the challenge after watching a video about the valuable work of Francis House. Both regularly cycle up to 20 miles with their family and prepared for the event with around 70 hours of additional training in the gym and on the road.
Francis House Children’s Hospice, based in Didsbury, provides respite and end of life care for children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions. They also give vital support to parents and siblings. It costs around £4.7 million per year (approximately £11,000 per day) to operate Francis House and almost 90% of their income comes from donations. The Hallidays team are proudly supporting them over the next two years to help families to continue to receive the support they need.
Lizzi and Chelsea said:
“We started our cycle ride at 8:20am feeling really nervous, we didin’t know what to expect. The first challenge of the day was tackling Bolton with several hills but we cycled up them all!
Our first stop was at 22 miles at Haigh Hall, where we refuelled with bananas and energy bars. We were feeling good at this time ready to tackle the remaining 40 miles. We even endured a couple of rude cyclists and irate drivers! But on the whole people were cheering us on throughout the ride, even people in their gardens.
Our second stop was Preston the Saddle at 44 miles, where we devoured a cheese burger each. We then hit the ‘hill of death’ but with only 10 miles to go we raced up it.”
Facing the last 8 miles, Lizzi began to feel worse for wear, but with Chelsea’s support and a banana for fuel, they carried on. When they hit the final 0.5-mile mark, they upped their gears further and raced to the finish line.
“We were met with prosecco and flapjacks provided by Lizzi’s mum. Closely followed by a pizza and ice cream! We anticipated it would take us 6 hours plus, but we completed it in 5 and a half, so we are more than pleased with that. Waking up the next day, the only pain we felt was our sunburnt arms and noses. On the whole, we enjoyed the ride and are looking forward to our next challenge.”
Hallidays Director, Nigel Bennett commented:
“A huge congratulations to Chelsea and Lizzi! We’re all very proud. At Hallidays, we’ve got a long tradition of stepping outside our comfort-zones and undertaking challenges to fundraise for our local charities. We’re looking forward to our next event – a parachute jump!”