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Sponsor Ray Hayhurst for his 100 mile cycle for the Development Fund

FC United member Ray Hayhurst cycled 100 miles for the Development Fund in torrential rain and 50mph winds last Sunday and you have one last chance to sponsor him – please give whatever you can afford.

Ray, who completed the gruelling course through London and Surrey in 5 hours 10 minutes and 39 seconds, admitted it was a lot tougher than he was expecting, largely due to the weather conditions.

He said: “I had to get up at 5am and cycle five miles in the dark to the start point in the Olympic Park. I was just thinking to myself: this is coming home time not going out time, as witnessed by the hordes of people staggering around making their way home.???

Unperturbed, Ray continued: “I got to the start point just in time and we were off virtually straight away. It was a blistering pace through the West End but then the rain started. And then the wind. I aimed for an average of 24mph for the first two hours, no chance.

“I decided to just sit with a slower group to try and get some protection. It worked but I lost 17 minutes. At the 48 mile mark I had a rest. Truthfully at this point, I’m stood on a hill, soaking wet, freezing, I’m thinking, ’is there a train station nearby?’ It was only the fact that I’d asked for sponsorship for the Development Fund that made me carry on.???

Into the second 50 miles of the challenge, it didn’t get any easier. Ray said: “Although it continued to pour down and sheet what seemed like pellets into my face, I got the welcome appearance of Leith Hill and Box Hill, the highest points in Surrey, although they’re probably just a small bump to most northerners.

“Surprisingly, I had a lot in me to get up these fairly easily and that spurred me on. The descents from those two hills are normally very fast, 50mph+ but this year I had to be very careful. I saw a lot of crashes, near misses and hundreds of punctures. Safety first so I was very careful. The water was like a river down the hills.

“From the bottom of Box Hill back to the finish line on The Mall is about 26 miles. I had to do that in just over an hour to hit my target of under five hours. But I realised that in the wet and windy conditions, and with the nasty little Wimbledon Hill still to come, I couldn’t do it.

“Nevertheless, I managed to do 26 miles in one hour and 12 minutes, which still wasn’t bad. For the final sprint down The Mall, I was racing a female rider, legs killing, heart thumping, and yes I beat her by a yard!!! Happy days! I celebrated with a pack of Hobnobs and was asleep on the sofa by 10:30pm.???

“It was a great ride out in the end. Really challenging, which is why I do it. I was delighted to raise some much needed money for the club’s Development Fund and I hope if you’re reading this, you can help us raise a bit more.???

You can sponsor Ray now by clicking here.

First Posted ~ 20:02 Sun 5 Aug 2018
News ID ~ 7973
Last Updated ~ 03:01 Tue 16 Feb 2021