A MORAY CYCLING group is set for a four-day challenge that they hope will emulate their efforts of three years ago that raised a stunning £41,000 for cancer research.
RAF Reserve Officer Walter Sutherland will abandon his desk at 2622 (Highland) Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth to lead a team of 26 friends from the Moray Wheelers over a 320mile trip to Skye and back.
Walter, 62, led many of the cyclists – average age 60 – on the amazing ‘Hebridean Challenge’ in 2012 on a 400-mile journey from Elgin to the Outer Hebrides and back. His efforts for Cancer Research UK have been driven by the loss of his teenage son to a rare type of bone cancer when he was just 18-years-old.
Now Walter and his friends have been inspired to take to the road again: “Cancer is a devastating disease and of course Scott’s death hit my family hard,” he said, added: “I wanted to do something fitting in his memory that would raise money for Cancer Research UK to help scientists in their work to improve treatments.
“Everyone from Moray Wheelers who took part in the Hebridean Challenge did so for different reasons but Cancer Research UK is a cause that resonates with all of us. Unfortunately, we have all been touched by cancer in some way.
“Raising the money and completing the challenge was a real team effort. Since then we have continued to fundraise and decided this year it was time to get back on the bike and push ourselves again to raise some more funds for Cancer Research UK.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us so far. Anyone who wants to donate can go to our Justgiving page and donate online.”
Walter admits that the challenge will not be an easy one for his determined team with a great many miles to cover over hilly terrain – a tough ask with the oldest member, Ed McCann from Hopeman, celebrating his 70th birthday this year.
Walter said: “There are a lot of miles to cover but I know that everyone’s passion and enthusiasm for this cause will see them cross the finish line with flying colours.”
Dorothy Rodger, Local Fundraising Manager for Cancer Research UK, said “It is fantastic that Walter and the Moray Wheelers have continued to support us and we can’t thank them enough.
“Cancer Research UK has made enormous progress in the fight against cancer. However, we have only been able to do this thanks to the dedication and commitment of our volunteers and supporters without whom we would not be able to fund our research.”
That link again for anyone who would like to support Walter and his team, who have already clocked up almost £4000 between them!
Watch again our video of Walter and the team setting off on their challenge three years ago….