Fuller’s London Pride Spinhalers

Four cyclists from Corsham, Wiltshire, captained by Bath and England rugby legend John Hall, will race 3,000 miles across America in support of Asthma UK. The Race Across America (RAAM) is recognised as the toughest endurance cycling race in the world – one third further than the Tour de France and with no stops! The team start on June 14th from Oceanside, California and expect to arrive on the East Coast seven days later.

John Hall, along with fellow Corsham cyclists Martyn Grant, Sir James Fuller and David Shephard, make up the London Pride Spinhalers, supported by a volunteer crew of 13. They have been training for a year and hope to maintain about 18 mph day and night along the route, which includes over 170,000 feet of vertical climbing. The London Pride Spinhalers are all members of the ARC (Antonia’s Riders Corsham) cycling club, set up in memory of Antonia Thomas, from Corsham, who tragically lost her life when she suffered a sudden asthma attack in 2009, aged just 10 years old.

Antonia’s father Jeff Thomas will drive one of the support vehicles. He said: “It’s hard enough just driving across America – what these guys are doing is inspiring and will help asthma sufferers nationwide.” John Hall commented: “This is one of the ultimate challenges in world cycling and we are proud to be the only UK 4-man team taking it on, and for a cause that has touched us all deeply.”

The team has already secured sponsorship from Fuller’s – the brewers of London Pride – Skyscape Cloud Services, Ark Data Centres, Widcombe House Investments and Vectura Group plc. The costs for the race are now covered, so all proceeds from fundraising and donations goes directly to Asthma UK. A fundraising Gala Evening is being held on May 22nd at Hartham Park, Corsham and auction prizes are being sought. For further information about the Team, to offer an auction prize or for Gala Evening tickets, please email: dbetteridge@harthampark.com.

Support Asthma UK and the London Pride Spinhalers and follow their progress on this website.

Notes to Editors

1. Antonia’s Cycle Ride (2010) raised £50,000 for Asthma UK, helping to train asthma specialists and install crucial asthma support equipment throughout Wiltshire.
2. The London Pride Spinhalers are the only UK 4-person team entered in the race, there are 30 4 person teams currently registered from across the globe.
3. There are 104 entries in this year’s event, ranging from solo riders to 2, 4 or 8 person teams.
4. Race Across America starts from Oceanside, California and finishes in Annapolis, Maryland. 3,000 miles non-stop, 170,000 feet of climb, it crosses 12 states and is 1/3 longer than the Tour de France http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/
5. Interviews are offered with John Hall and Jeff Thomas. Profiles and photos are available on this website. Blogs, live updates and skype available throughout the ride and after finish (roughly 21st June).
6. The entire team are taking part in a 24hr run through over the weekend of the 26/27th April in the New Forest to test the theoretical logistic systems.
7. Riders will be touring certain local Wiltshire and Bath schools to talk about the race and raise awareness for Asthma UK.
8. The Fundraising Gala on 22nd May will be hosted by England rugby legends Martin Bayfield and David Trick and attended by local and national celebrities and supporters. All proceeds directly to Asthma UK.
9. Asthma UK is the charity dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the 5.4 million people in the UK whose lives are affected by asthma.
10. In the UK, a child with Asthma is admitted to hospital every 8 minutes. Three people die because of asthma every day and these deaths are mostly avoidable.
11. For independent and confidential advice on asthma, call the Asthma UK Helpline on 0800 121 62 44 or visit http://www.asthma.org.uk/

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