After more than 3,000 miles, 12 US states and seven days of punishing cycling, four Corsham cyclists are back home after raising almost £50,000 in memory of a Corsham schoolgirl.
The London Pride Spinhalers were the only British team in this year’s Race Across America, travelling non-stop from Oceanside, California on June 14 to Annapolis, Maryland.
The team, including former England rugby player Jon Hall, completed the race in seven days and nine hours, facing fatigue and mechanical failures along the way.
He said: “The team have been amazing. Fitness and logistics were planned meticulously but nothing prepared us for the sleep deprivation and absolute fatigue.
“We heard of other riders falling asleep on their bikes. We have been lucky to get an hour or so of sleep here and there, but usually it’s a case of 40 winks in the back of the support vehicle before we are off again.
“Now we’re very much looking forward to a good night’s sleep and a pint, but I’m not sure in which order.”
Fellow cyclists Martyn Grant, Sir James Fuller and David Shepard are all members of the ARC (Antonia’s Riders Club), which formed in memory of 10-year-old Antonia Thomas, who died in 2009 after an asthma attack.
A gala evening at Hartham Park before they left raised £37,000 for Asthma UK, with the total now creeping towards the £50,000 mark.
Antonia’s father Jeff was one of the drivers for the Spinhalers’ support team. He said: “I am overwhelmed by what the team have achieved.
“This race is part of a legacy for Antonia. The awareness and funds raised for Asthma UK will help towards our goal to create a world where asthma is no longer a daily battle for sufferers, and where no one dies from this condition.
“Too often you hear it’s ‘just asthma’, but asthma claimed our beautiful young daughter, and over half of asthma deaths could be avoided if people were better prepared and given the correct education and medicines.”