- GM Fundraising -

GM Fundraising completes the Border2Border cycling challenge

With many, many miles, deserts, hills and mountains covered, the GM Fundraising Border2Border team, proudly sponsored by Deceuninck, have completed the epic challenge of cycling from Canada to Mexico. And it is fair to say the challenge, dubbed as ‘The Toughest Yet’ has most definitely lived up to its name!

“I struggle to find the words to explain how difficult it was,” comments Gary Morton, founder of GM Fundraising and a rider in this year’s B2B challenge. “Brutal, was one widely used by almost every rider. The early part of the ride saw heavy rain, thunderstorms, snow and hail storms with temperatures around 7 degrees. One of the hardest days, unexpectedly, was on Day 2 riding from Monroe into ‘Yakama, Washington State. Team one had to climb 5,400ft, more than half of which was in the last 8 miles, through pouring rain and a strong head wind – it felt like the worst hour of any ride I have ever done, both physically and mentally. The winds on Day 3 saw us pedalling our hearts out downhill where there would normally be some reprieve. The views from Crater Lake were stunning, but it was so cold no one could stop for very long to take them in.

“This quickly changed though as we ascended on to the Columbian Plateau and into the desert - acclimatising to this was really difficult. The high temperatures meant early starts to avoid the +45 degree highs; gruelling runs through deserts which nearly set your feet on fire, and an astonishing amount of feet climbed in one day – 12,994ft over the Santa Rosa Mountains into Borrego Springs on day 10 to be precise.

“We also made a detour to the meet our sponsors Deceuninck at their new plant in Fernley, Nevada. We were joined by a special guest, Fillip Geerhert, the CEO of Deceuninck USA, who joined the team to make the journey into the plant.” Roy Frost, Managing Director of Deceuninck UK adds: “It was great to see the rapid progress on our new factory in Reno, Nevada. Filip told me that the walls went up only last week and the new silos were installed the day before we arrived. It's open for business in August and in the evening we met the new management team and wished them all the best in their new exciting venture.”

Gary continues: “The varying weather conditions certainly added to the enormity of this already epic challenge but it hasn’t been all bad! Some of the scenery was spectacular, the laughs have been many and the team spirit soared throughout. Our Hope House Mascots, Poppy, Harley and Kyle gave us daily reminders of who we were doing this for and the whole team pulled together to get each other through to the end. The personal sense of achievement from everyone taking part will never be forgotten and is so very well deserved.

“I must also pay tribute to the support team who were amazing – they coped with every situation, putting in extra hours before and after the rider’s day to make sure everything was in-hand. They provided a continuous supply of food and gallons of water – Almost 250 gallons in fact – first aid, therapy (both mental and physical) and found bike repair shops to mend the mechanical issues we encountered. They were also responsible for some of the stunning photography posted on social media.

“To say I am very proud of the team is an understatement. In total, the team as whole, completed the following: 2,111 miles; 94,600 ft of climbing; 864,000 calories burned; and 4,536,000 peddle turns (cadence)

“The end of the ride saw us cycle, as a complete team, into The Border Field State Park and was followed by an end of ride party hosted by Alan Reece and Kevin Harvey of Panoramic Doors, who have operations in both the US and UK. It was a wonderful gesture and a fantastic way to end the ride. Their generosity didn’t stop at the party as they also donated $3,000 to the B2B fund.

“Thank you to everyone that has supported us throughout – and not just from GM Fundraising and the Border2Border team, but from all the children, families and staff at Hope House.

“We will be announcing the grand total soon but in the meantime you can still support the team through our just giving page" www.justgiving.com/teams/GMFB2B

News title: -    GM Fundraising completes the Border2Border cycling challenge
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GM Fundraising

The Ride Starts here; the training has begun; to follow the progress of the team during their 12 month training visit http://www.gmfundraising.co.uk/border2border like us on Facebook look out for the hashtags #GMFB2B on twitter for regular updates. Most importantly the fundraising starts now and each of the team has their own dedicated Just Giving page as well as a general team one: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/GMFB2B

The Ride Story

After almost two decades of general fundraising, GM Fundraising commenced their charity cycle rides in 2005 with the Top2Bottom John O’Groats to Land’s End ride. The 974 mile ride cycled over 13 days by 10 riders raised over £51,000. Since this inaugural event, further international fundraising rides have taken place culminating in the high profile Hope 66 ride in 2013. The 2,666 ride along Route 66 was tough but in 2016 with the Border2Border distance, climbing and heat challenges, the team will face their biggest challenge yet both physically and mentally.

Where does the money go?

The beneficiaries are Hope House Children’s Hospices who GMF has supported for the last 15 years raising over £1.2 million in the process. Based in Oswestry and Conwy Bay, Hope House provides palliative care and support to life limited children offering a range of services including respite and end of life care at the hospices or at home, and the organisation supports counselling, advocacy and the promotion of children’s, young people’s and carer’s rights.

Children, young people and family members are welcomed into a friendly, homely environment with the child or young person at the centre. Support offered includes physical, psychological, and spiritual care from a team including experienced doctors, nurses and other care professionals. This support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

GM Fundraising was set up in 1995 by Gary Morton a well-known industry figurehead. The charity is now widely regarded as the charity of choice for the glazing industry and is supported by a dedicated team of volunteers.

To date the charity has raised over £1,106,000 for various children’s hospices, with £1,004,000 going directly to Hope House Children’s Hospices over the last 11 years. An amazing £411,000 of this has come from the epic cycling rides that have taken the team across the UK, Europe and USA. Other fund raising events include golf days and gala dinners.

In 2013 the team cycled 2,616 miles across the iconic Route 66 in the USA, branded as ‘Hope 66’ in just 14 days. The route from Chicago to Santa Monica took riders across the desert in Arizona and over the Rocky Mountains.

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