Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Cancer survivors and doctors cycle 340-mile round trip, raising over £45,000 for local charity.

On the evening of Tuesday 17th September, cyclists on Hope Against Cancer’s 2,500 Furlongs Cycle Challenge returned to Leicester after a 340-mile trip around the north of England.

Starting and finishing at Leicester Racecourse, the route took in the Yorkshire Moors as cyclists passed through some of England’s most famous racecourses - Doncaster, York itself and Market Rasen. So far, the event has raised over £45,000.

The 2,500 Furlongs Challenge, named in-keeping with the equestrian theme, is a bi-annual fundraiser organised by Hope - Leicester’s cancer research charity. The money raised through the Challenge and the Home-coming Party will go towards funding research into the prevention and treatment of cancer, with each cyclist raising a minimum of £1,000 to support local cancer research.

40 cyclists took on the Hope Challenge over the last 4 days - made up of people from the local community, Hope Through Business club members and even a Hope-funded researcher or two - including Dr Sam Khan. One of the most incredible participants is David Lillyman - who rode alongside his daughter Rebecca. In 2014, David was diagnosed with throat cancer at the age of 46. After months of treatment at the Hope Clinical Trials facility, he was remarkably given the all-clear. This was David’s second Challenge - he rode in the previous one back in 2017.

Another incredible rider came in the form of Chris Trethewey. Like Dr Sam Khan, Chris is a Hope-funded researcher who recently swam the English Channel, raising over £10,000 in the process. Whilst Chris was only meant to be involved in the event in a support capacity, he ended up riding an impressive 115 miles on the last day of the Challenge.

Starting on Saturday 14th September, the Challenge’s send-off was attended by a number of Leicester’s key dignitaries and supporters. The Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mr Mike Kapur, gave a rousing speech to send the cyclists on their way, whilst Leicester Rider’s Basketball team captain Andy Thompson and player Harrison Gamble led the riders out of the city. Both are Hope Against Cancer ambassadors. A motorcycle escort, in full Hope regalia, also accompanied the cyclists to the city limits.

The Leicestershire business community also came together in support of Hope Against Cancer for the 2,500 Furlongs Challenge. The event had two main cash sponsors - ISF Coatings and insurers Marsh and Co. Two businesses also stepped in as Vehicle Sponsors for 2019: Farmer and Carlisle Toyota and once again Sandicliffe Ford. The all-important cycle kit was sponsored by Knights Solicitors. Food and drinks sponsors included the Co-op, Blackfriars Bakery, Britvic, Walkers, University of Leicester, F&B Fruit and Veg, Sunrise Eggs, Morrisons, Melton Mowbray branch and Spice of India, Melton Mowbray.

Finally, the Home-Coming Party was sponsored by property and construction consultants Pick Everard. Duncan Green, of Pick Everard, who is a Hope trustee and took part in the 340-mile cycle challenge, has raised over £6,000 alone.

Hope CEO Nigel Rose was immensely proud of every cyclist who took part:

“The 2,500 Furlongs Cycle Challenge has proved to me once again just how inspirational the Leicestershire community is. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that £45,000 has been raised for vital, local cancer research and it is always is a privilege for me to be part of the support crew on the cycle rides. Our cyclist and support volunteers are a key part of the Hope Against Cancer family of supporters and I’m overwhelmed by the generosity, hard work and commitment of everybody that took part”.

To find out more about how you can get involved in future Hope fundraisers, visit https://

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