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FUNDRAISING FIREFIGHTERS RETURN FROM MAMMOTH 100 THERE CHALLENGE

100here100therephoto1VIDEO: A group of charity fundraising firefighters from the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service have battled against the elements to complete a phenomenal challenge of cycling from Caen to Monaco and back again as part of the 2015 100 Here 100 There challenge.

After setting off two weeks ago, the team have this afternoon (Saturday) returned to Ryde Fire Station having completed a staggering 1500 miles of cycling through France in conditions tougher than expected. The exhausted but triumphant cyclists returned on the 15:00 Wightlink car ferry before cycling from Fishbourne to Ryde to a very warm reception.

Emotional friends and family gathered alongside colleagues from the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (IWFRS) this afternoon to welcome back the team. Watch the moment they arrived back on station and hear what Kelvin Wright had to say about the experience…

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Last Thursday proved one of the most challenging days for the firefighting team of Kelvin Wright, Kelly Addison, Graham Orchard, Rob Merrifield and Gareth Driscoll – with Simon Hogg from Wight Mountain – when a huge storm broke out as they climbed Alpe D Huez. The authorities closed the mountain and advised all cyclists to leave as thunder and lightning developed, forcing the team to take a well-earned break, which proved vital with a difficult few days that followed.

100here100therephoto2Fellow firefighters Alan Brown, Kevin Beckett, Nigel Probert and Ross Smallcombe provided ongoing support throughout the challenge, travelling in two IWFRS vehicles stocked full of supplies.

Watch Manager Kelvin Wright has been blogging throughout the two weeks. You can catch up with the daily diary at http://www.iow100.com/kelvs-100-there-blog.

All monies raised will go directly to the following organisations for the benefit of Island residents:

• The Wessex Cancer Trust – Isle of Wight Cancer Support Centre
• Isle of Wight ASBAH – Association of Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus
• Alzheimers Cafes – Isle of Wight
• Parkinsons UK – Isle of Wight branch
• Cruse Bereavement Care – Isle of Wight branch
• Families of Ocean Ward – Southampton’s Children and Young Adult Heart Services

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The 100 Here element of the fundraising challenge took place on Sunday 28th June and saw cyclists take part in a choice of two cycling routes around the Island – one covering 100km and the other 100 miles.

You can still donate to 100 Here 100 There by visiting the Just Giving page. The overall amount raised will be announced at a ceremony in mid-October.

See more photographs from the challenge as taken by FF Alan Brown over on the 100 Here 100 There Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/iow100?fref=ts.

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