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The Viking Challenge – rain, wind, mud and a lot of happy cyclists!

Tuesday 3rd October

The Viking Challenge – rain, wind, mud and a lot of happy cyclists!

This year at least 1200 entrants took part in the annual Viking Challenge charity off–road cycle event on Sunday 1st October. Battling against the elements, the entrants conquered muddy puddles and ferocious gales to complete this infamous ride. 

The 30/50km cycle challenge, which starts and finishes at Redmile Primary School was the 23rd annual event and is set, the organisers hope, to raise over £20,000 for the school and its charity partner the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, through entry fees and sponsorship money. Cally Keetley, Trustee of the charitysaid "Thank you to all the intrepid riders who braved the mud and to the Viking Challenge for choosing Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust as its charity partner this year. All our volunteers out on the course had a great day marshaling and cheering everyone on."

Colin Shearer, Chair of the organising committee noted; “It was a great but tough day with all participants riding safely in at times, inclement weather but still having fun. With our entrants, it seems the more mud there is, the better the event! The food stops were as popular as always with cakes, chocolates, bananas and pork pies all being eaten across the course. The sausage rolls also proved to be a big hit. It was great to see many faces returning from previous years events as well as a number of riders taking on the challenge for the first time.”

Organisers were delighted to see a number of businesses bring a team of employees to ride the event, including Khaos Control from Grantham and Riverside Medical Packaging in Derby both with at least six riders each. Viking Signs from Grantham – one of the event’s major sponsors also brought a team. A local mountain bike club in Sherwood Pines, the Nott’s MTB Outlaws had 50 members complete the event. 

The Viking Challenge attracts cyclists from across the country with riders travelling from Marlow on Thames to Warwick and Doncaster and Darlington. Julie-Ann Parker rode the event with her teenage son Zac as she noted, “the Viking Challenge is not a competitive race, just lots of fun for all.” Teachers were also delighted to see ex-pupils of Redmile, twins Tom and Harry Ford cycle with their Dad, Brendan.

Mrs Jatinder Sembi, Acting Executive Head Teacherat Redmile Primary School concluded; ‘I would like to thank everyone who has helped organise this unique event, especially our Viking Challenge Committee who work tirelessly all year round on a voluntary basis to prepare for the event.  Without their enthusiasm and dedication, the Viking Challenge would not be the successful event that it is and we thoroughly appreciate how incredibly lucky we are to have such an amazing team.’

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