Southampton team takes on 24-hour cycle challenge | Action Medical Research

Southampton team takes on 24-hour cycle challenge

26 July 2013

A team from Southampton shipping company Huelin-Renouf will be continuing the cycling buzz, following last week’s Tour de France finale, when they take on a 24-hour non-stop endurance cycle race in September.

RIDE24 is organised by children’s charity Action Medical Research. This year’s ride takes place at a new venue, the famous Thruxton Motor Circuit, Andover, on Saturday 7 to Sunday 8 September and will be run under British Cycling Regulations.

The closed circuit event sees teams of four plus solo riders racing night and day to travel the greatest distance in 24 hours. The event is supported with a fully equipped rider village, with entrants kept fed and watered throughout and physios and bike mechanics on hand all day and night too.

‘The ChainGang’ team members: Alex Hawkes (38), Lee Walker (38), Ben Mugford (32), Chris Walker (29); all ramped up their fitness and cycling skills after getting involved in their firm’s cycle2work scheme back in August 2011.

Team member Alex says, “Before cycle2work, I owned a mountain bike but didn’t use it that often. I swapped it for a road bike and off I went. The first 22 mile ride into work from Horndean wasn’t easy. My fitness improved and the rides got longer, but whilst I enjoy the escapism of getting out on the country roads, something was missing. That something was competition!”

Alex put out the call at work for volunteers to join a team to take on RIDE24. He says: “There were a lot of comments about it being crazy, but I managed to get a team together. Raising money for a well deserving charity and a bit of healthy competition combined was all the encouragement our team needed.”

Alex has a very personal connection with the work of the charity. Action Medical Research fund vital medical research to help sick and disabled children. It is currently funding research into conditions including premature birth.

His son Lincoln was born seven weeks early on 29 January 2011 at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth. He and his partner Sarah arrived at hospital in the early hours and just two hours later Lincoln was born by emergency caesarean section.

“After Lincoln was born he was whisked away. There had been no time to think, but the next six hours until we saw him again in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) were traumatic – the bottom just drops out of your world!”

Lincoln spent his first three weeks of life in hospital. Once finally discharged he was only home three days before having to be rushed back to hospital by the paramedics. His temperature had dropped and he had become unresponsive after not been able to feed. Thankfully, Lincoln is now two, at nursery and is doing very well.

“It was an exceptionally traumatic and difficult time for the entire family and if there is something that can be done to help prevent another family from having to go through the same experience, it can only be a good thing.”

To donate to the team’s sponsor page:

For more information and to register, visit Alternatively, contact Sarah Stevenson on 01273 735788 or

Take a look at the event and what to expect in this video:

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Hi-res images can be downloaded using the links below:

Chris, Alex, Lee and Ben:

The boys on their bikes:

Lincoln at 3 days old:

Lincoln aged 2, June 2013:

For further press information on Action Medical Research please contact:

Clare Airey, Senior Press and PR Officer
T 01403 327480

Follow us on Twitter at @actionmedres and @amr_events use the hashtag #RIDE24

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Action Medical Research is a UK-wide charity saving and changing children’s lives through medical research. We want to make a difference in:

  • tackling premature birth and treating sick and vulnerable babies
  • helping children affected by disability, disabling conditions and infections
  • targeting rare diseases that together severely affect many forgotten children.

Just one breakthrough, however small, can mean the world.

Charity reg.nos 208701 and SC039284

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