Jubilant 'Fellaton' cyclists raise £43k for charities after epic journey
- Credit: Tobin Lambert
A team of exhausted but elated cyclists has raised an "amazing" £43,000 for charities after pedalling from Land's End to John O'Groats.
The six-man “Norfolk Fellaton" team has completed the gruelling 960-mile challenge in nine days.
It includes farmers Nick Gowing, 51, from Mulbarton, Richard Hirst, 59, from Ormesby and Ed Wharton, 54, from Stokesby, along with barn developer Ed Masters, 50, and land drainage specialist Justin Morfoot, 45, both from Fakenham, and Mr Morfoot's half-brother Mike Bartlett, 50, who was raised in Norfolk but now lives in Dorset.
The vital support van was driven by 54-year-old Tobin Lambert, a former soldier from Halesworth who now works in woodland management.
The close-knit friends were raising money for five causes close to their hearts - farming mental health charity YANA (You Are Not Alone), East Anglian Children's Hospice (EACH), the Motor Neurone Disease Association, Muscular Dystrophy UK and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
And they have smashed their initial £25,000 target by raising more than £43,000, including Gift Aid donations.
Mr Masters said the team was "over the moon" with the total, and proud of their achievements in this epic test of endurance.
"Physically it was tough," he said. "One of our team, Nick, had never cycled 100 miles in a day before, and we averaged 109 miles per day for nine days.
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"The first day was the hardest, climbing almost 11,000 feet of elevation. That was quite a lot for us, bearing in mind we practiced in Norfolk, and it was raining the whole day.
"I am not saying it got easier after that, but we got into a routine and the camaraderie between the team was amazing, and the support from Tobin was legendary,
"One of the biggest highlights was to keep getting the emails coming through with new donations. We hit our target before we even turned a pedal. We easily had £1,000 a day coming in, and so many messages of support - it helped us along.
"We were greeted in John O'Groats with some of Richard's family spraying champagne, and I have to admit I cried my eyes out. It was such a sense of achievement."
Mr Masters said another memorable highlight came just 20 miles from the finishing line at the northern tip of Scotland, after the team of Norwich City fans had been discussing their favourite former Canaries players.
"We stopped at a crossroads and had a drink and a jelly baby and then we all broke out into a song about Paul McVeigh," he said. "It will be a moment I will never forget."
- To donate, see the Norfolk Fellaton fundraising page