Simon RichardsonMBE

Simon Talks about the Newport Velodrome Trackathon

21 Riders ride through the night for the Welsh Air Ambulance

The first simonstrong trackathon fundraiser took place at Newport Track on June 15th starting at 10pm and finishing at 8am on June 16th.

There was a lot of effort to get everything sorted by Graham Hewson from Team Midland Racing. He had simonstrong Air Ambulance kit made and also some polo shirts plus wristbands. In the track centre we had Big Maggys coffee on the go and Bikefood energy products to help keep riders going, One 2 One Therapy provided the sports massage.

For the riders to look at we had the new Onix bikes and also my Onix Road bike built up with micro shift, kmc, Jagwire, one23 and 4za and of course the simonstrong bike was there which is fully built with micro shift, kmc. Jagwire and 4za.

We were hoping for about 50 riders but were let down and due to circumstances beyond our control had 21 on the night, but the main thing was that they all enjoyed themselves. The event was started by one of the best 11 year old rides around – Elynor Backstedt – standing in for her dad – Magnus Backstedt – who was racing in Sweden. We rode around the bottom of the track for about 5 minutes while photos were being taken. Then we were joined by the first group of riders, I lasted for about 3 miles then came off due to chronic pain.

It was decided due to the lack of riders we would have a new group on the boards every 30 mins, this seemed to work well. The first few hours seemed to fly past with riders changing well and the miles clocking up. By about 1am riders were starting to struggle and slept wherever they could. The massage was flat out with a queue and the coffee was non stop.

At about 1.30am I went back up on the track to do another 2 miles that was all I could manage, I then had to go on the massage table to get work done on my back. It was a sight to see riders faster sleep getting their name called and just getting up, having a quick drink, then on to the boards for another 30 minutes.

By the end of the 10 hours we had done over 1500 miles and made about £1200, enough to get a helicopter in the air for an hour. I’d like to personally thank everyone that took part and made it such a memorable evening.

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