IT took blood, sweat, and a great deal of determination – but 14 plucky cyclists took on a mammoth ride yesterday to raise funds for a Seaton Sluice youngster.
The riders – including ex-Newcastle United defender Robbie Elliott – competed in a fundraiser called Reason to Ride on Sunday where they cycled 200-miles from Edinburgh to Newcastle in just 17 hours to raise money for cerebral palsy sufferer Callum Brown.
The eight-year-old and his parents, Sharon and Neil Brown, of Derwent Road in Seaton Sluice, are aiming to raise £70,000 to pay for life-changing surgery in the US which they hope will enable him to walk unaided.
They set up Callum’s Wish To Walk, which is supported by the Angels of the North, and have now raised just short of £50,000.
And the ride – organised by GB triathlete Joanna Reed – will offer a welcome boost towards their target.
Joanna, 37, who took part in the ride, said: “I was so proud of all the cyclists for finishing the ride and sticking together, everyone got on so well.
“We had a few injuries and there were times when a few people were really struggling, but to get everyone to the finish line together was just incredible.
“I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who took part, and to everyone in the support cars as well who travelled with us, fixing punctures, to David Lloyd, Northumbrian Water, Hi-5, Robin Palmer, it was brilliant, and hopefully we have raised a lot of money for Callum.”
The riders set out from Edinburgh at 4am and finished at Newcastle at 9pm.
It is hoped that Callum will undergo the selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery at the start of next year.
Mum Sharon said: “It’s amazing what they’ve done, what they have achieved, and we are so grateful to them and to Jo for organising it.
“This means everything to Callum, being able to have this operation, so a massive thank you to everyone who took part for him.”
As well as Reason to Ride, runners Matt Atkinson, 41, of Gosforth, and Phil Smith, 36, of Ashington, covered the 84-mile length of Hadrian’s Wall, from Bowness-on-Solway to Wallsend, in 20 hours overnight on Saturday for a fundraiser called Reason to Run.
They finished just ahead of the riders at David Lloyd in Newcastle.
A fancy dress charity five-a-side football tournament will be held on July 29 at the Montagu Estate Residents’ Association to raise money for Callum’s Wish To Walk, with entry £20 per team.
For further details visit www.callumswishtowalk.co.uk, www.justgiving.com/reasontoride or www.justgiving.com/wallbangers