Gearing Up For 410 Mile Challenge

Png Cyclists 3 Jk

A group of eleven from greater Belfast and beyond are gearing up for a mammoth cycling challenge this weekend to help raise funds for the My Name’s Doddie Foundation which supports research into Motor Neurone Disease and helps families affected by the disease.

The peloton, which has been supported by Phoenix Natural Gas, set off from Royal Belfast Golf Club on Friday 16th October, covering 152 miles on the first day along the coast then to Castlederg, before taking in a further 145 miles on Saturday from Castlederg to Warrenpoint.  The peloton will complete their return to Belfast on Sunday with a 100-mile cycle along the coast to Strangford, to Portaferry and then finally back to Royal Belfast Golf Club on Sunday evening.


Stuart Thom, Chief Executive of Royal Belfast Golf Club organised the fundraising event and convinced 10 others to get involved.  Speaking about the challenge he says: “I was fortunate enough to play rugby alongside Doddie Weir and was always impressed by his talent and commitment, but none of us could have known that an MND diagnosis and ultimately his toughest challenge was to come.


“From he was diagnosed he has been driven to help others with MND and find new ways for further research into the illness and at Royal Belfast Golf Club we knew we wanted to help.


“The idea for the cycle came about as we were looking for a challenge that could achieve while meeting COVID-19 restrictions.  We came up with a ‘Long Weekend’ three-day cycle around Northern Ireland and we were delighted to have 10 other sign up to take part.  We have a range of cycling abilities in the group but know that no matter how tough it gets it’ll be nothing compared to the challenges that Doddie and others living with MND face each day.


“We’re delighted to have over £10,000 raised to date and I would like to say a special thanks to each of the peloton team members as well as our sponsors for the cycle Phoenix Natural Gas and MKB Law.”


The ‘Long Weekend’ team set off from Royal Belfast Golf Club on Friday 16th October at 6.00am and will cover 410 miles around Northern Ireland before returning on Sunday 18th October.  You can donate to the team’s fundraising efforts at: https://www.justgiving.com/fun...  

Photo caption: Pictured ahead of their 410 miles challenge are the Royal Belfast Golf Club team who will be cycling 410 miles around Northern Ireland from the 16th – 18th October 2020, (l-r) June McMinn, Jeff Aiken, Simon Danielli, Stephen Montgomery, Mark Adamson, Kieran Beattie, Steve Barlow & Johnny Webb with Gillian Orr (centre), Phoenix Natural Gas.