Just over a year after Joseph died, Neil (Joseph’s father) began to think about ways to help other families.
By Josh Cutler
In June 2014, 3RT set a challenge to its members to ride a Coast to Coast ride from St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay in support of the Joseph Salmon Trust.
Date for Completion: 19th July 2014.
3RT is a small (but forever growing) Cycling Team based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire holding around 30members, but with each member comes an ever growing family of Cycling Enthusiasts, Beer Enthusiasts and for some a Racing Team.
Only 4 of the 14 3RT Team members that put themselves forward to ride had rode this sort of distance before and all 14 of us knew the challenge ahead was going to be no ‘Steady Sunday Club Ride’, we new we would have to put our body into places and pain it hasn’t before and as they say ‘Go Once a Year Deep’ to ensure we finished the ride together.
Of course this was not all about the cyclists, we weren’t just doing this to be able to tick the forever growing ‘Bucket List’ accomplishment of saying “I rode a Coast to Coast”, we did this to be able to support a local charity to the team, the Joseph Salmon Trust. 3RT’s and the youngest rider (19 years of age) to take part (Josh ‘Dougie’ Cutler) set up the Just Giving Page to ensure what we did was spread across Social Media and the internet and plenty of money was raised for a great cause.
Having only set the page up a fortnight before the ride, 3RT worked hard as a team to gather sponsors, hitting the £500 target in the first 24hours of the page being set up which then grew to £1000 after a week and hitting a full and massive figure of £2500 on the eve of the ride.
Dave Micklethwaite (Team Manager) originally agreed to support the Regular and Reserve soldiers from 4th Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (4 YORKS) on a Coast to Coast ride which would incorporate a 6-man relay team and a 6-man full distance team, but 3RT being 3RT decided to volunteer to ride with the army across the gruelling route.
A 14 strong 3RT team and 5 Army cyclists braved the torrential weather to complete a ride in excess of 165miles from one side of England to the other, riding through Various terrains, towns, cities and even including a portion of the Tour de France Stage 1 route.
Although the rain didn’t let up from the first mile to the last, the group left St Bees at around 4.30am – after travelling up in a Horse Box and Mini Bus from Huddersfield – completing the ride in just over 10 hours riding time and having numerous refreshment stops throughout.
Josh, better known a Dougie, for reasons two long for this report said “It was phenomenal the immediate response we got for the ride. I set the target at an ambitious £500 and when we’d hit that within the first day it was a surreal feeling. Knowing now that we actually more than quintupled our target just shows how much support 3RT has as a small local team and how much respect you can gain from completing such a massive challenge”.
Team Manager, Dave Micklethwaite, who was once one of the best racing cyclists in the United Kingdom had a few less words to say, but with just as much meaning. “It was wet; it was brutal and we raised some Cash, that’s how 3RT role”.
Another of the riders Brendan Devlin, and I’m sure he won’t mind us saying – one of the oldest members of the team said “Once i looked left off the bridge and saw Whitby harbour in the sunshine, with 10 hours riding, i knew i had done it and I drifted off the back of the group to enjoy the last three miles nice and quietly into Robin Hoods Bay”.
3RT and the Army were not the only ones that ventured out for the ride, the 3 ladies that followed and drove with the Group all day were fantastic. Helen, Kelly & Paula (wives and volunteers of the 3RT members) drove support vehicles for the length of the ride and i know for a fact we would not of been able to complete it without them. A huge thank you to the girls!
3RT would also like to say a huge thank you to everyone that sponsored us for the ride, if it wasn’t for all of you, the effort would not have meant so much to us all and had done so much for a great cause!
What followed the ride was a fun day with the Lindley Swifts just off Ainley Top, where various events, stalls and activities were available. 3RT (renowned for their Social antics) were there in full force and enjoyed a day celebrating their achievements. A further £1000 was raised!
Last up, please follow 3RT on twitter @3RTRacing as these sorts of antics are just an ordinary day in a Black and Red Jersey.
Even after a torrential down pour, nothing could stop the atmosphere at the Manchester Great Swim. The crowds were supporting the swimmers all the way round the course.
Jane Walker, who did an impressive personal best of 32 minutes really enjoyed the swim, “The crowd really keep you going. I bettered my time from last year by a good 2 minutes and my swim buddy Jon Massey cracked sub 29 minutes which is a great result.”
The waves were running a little behind allocated times, but that didn’t dampen swimmers mood.
Jon Massey said, “We didn’t get time for acclimatisation in the water before our wave, and we were doing the warm ups in the check in queue which was fun. In the end, the water was cool but not cold at 20 degrees. All in all a really enjoyable event and I’ll be back next year along with Jane doing a sub 30!”
Jane, 54, has really been bitten by the swimming bug and has vowed to tour the UK, taking on all five Great Swims next year.
Supporter and husband, John Walker, 56, said, “We’ll have to get ourselves one of those VW Camper Vans as we’ll be doing a fair few miles and Jane wants to do it all for charity. We are all very proud of her.”
Jane has raised over £300 for us and if this inspires you to get involved or to donate, then please visit our donation page. Why not share your fundraising stories with us on our Facebook page, or find us on Twitter.
With just under a week to go before the Great Manchester Swim, for Jane Walker, 54, it is time to ‘up’ the training and increase the sponsorship total. What this means is Jane has to swim a mile on Saturday 19th July for little Joseph. She has been taking the plunge every morning before heading to work, instead of her normal three times a week. In the pool at 7 am sharp, things have been going well. Although, according to the local news, there has been quite a bit of traffic build up in the swimming lane. It has taken skill and timing to manoeuvre around obstacles ahead, so good practice for Salford Quays on Saturday.
Jane is counting down, smashing one mile each morning. She swims, does the job well, then jumps into the car for her journey to work, whilst munching away on some mini cereal bites. Jane is hoping to better her personal best from last year’s 35 minutes. Her swimming buddy, Jon Massey, 26, wants to aim for sub 30 minutes. Jane laughs, “If that happens, there will be pink pigs flying over Manchester! Everything has a speed limit and I’m a diesel engine, slow but I can do the miles.”
Jon is confident, “I have recently been getting wetter than the average duck, swimming twice a week as well as other training. We are getting our muscles finely tuned and our minds ready for the icy waters of Salford Quays. Last year was quite a warm day as was the water, so we didn’t really need wetsuits but we have to wear them. I used to swim on national level when I was a teen, but open water is a different game. There are other people in your lane, seaweed and fish all after you!”
On one evening last week, Jane made the mistake of going to bed late. Up bright and early the next morning at 5.45 AM, usual practice for swimming morning, the session was hard work. “It was like swimming through treacle!” exclaimed Jane.
“Only after about 30 lengths, did my energy stores kick in and I managed to complete my mile, with a much needed warm down at the end. That’s my body telling me that I’ve run out of steam! So before the race, the Friday evening will be an early one to bed.”
Open water swimming can be a tactical sport, ” I just wish there was a blue line at the bottom of Salford Quays to follow because most times when I practice ‘sighting’ in the pool to make sure I’m not going to run into anyone or anything I end up swallowing water. I like water, just not keen on chlorine!”, laughs Jane.
One morning for Jane, there was a new swimmer in the lane, some 30 years younger than her. Now, she is one who likes the challenge, so she swam her heart out to keep up with him and he was just a little too quick but Jane refused to quit. Jane thought to herself, “I ache all over now, but this is for little Joseph, must keep going. They say ‘with age comes wisdom’, that was I lesson I obviously didn’t attend!!”
Jane has high hopes for the Great Manchester Swim, “A change in tactics next week I think, fewer sessions, more rest for my muscles. It is such a great venue too, MediaCityUK is an epic backdrop!”
Jon has been taking in top tips from the open water stars, such as Keri-anne Payne, “I’m not shy to take on the fish and the people, it’s the seaweed I worry about. However, I am very excited for the swim and looking forward to smashing last years race time. Make sure you all dig deep for us in your pockets and wallets. Please show us your support by donating to the Joseph Salmon Trust. Thanks, as we will see you at the finish!”