On Saturday 25th June 2011 a cheque for £2500 was presented to Suzanne Ruggles, founder of Full Circle Fund, by members of the South West Road Club (SWRC), in recognition of the money raised through their successful annual May Flyer cyclo-sportive.
It was on Sunday 8th May 2011 that 500 cyclists took their bikes to the steep and twisting roads of Surrey to complete the May Flyer, a cyclo-sportive with a route of over 140km. 2011 was the second year running that the SWRC held the event in aid of Full Circle Fund and the day was an overwhelming success.
One of the members of SWRC attending the cheque presentation was Alan Brunsden, a former leukaemia patient and cyclo-cross champion who completed the 146km route in an impressive Gold Standard time. "For me, taking on the May Flyer 2011 sportive marked an important milestone in my own recovery," Alan said. "The Full Circle charity means a lot to me as it’s on the wards helping people through some of their toughest days. If my efforts can help them keep hope alive, it's worth it."
After the presentation Suzanne Ruggles said: "This wonderful sportive has helped raise over £4000 for Full Circle's cause at St George's Hospital, where Alan received his leukaemia treatment. We are indebted to the SWRC and to everyone involved in the May Flyer 2011 cyclo-sportive success. Their incredibly generous support really helps us to keep hope alive for our very ill children and adults at St George's Hospital."
Left to Right: Laura Impiazzi, Grant Gibson, Vero Bringlow, Alan Brunsden, Chloe Hall, Laura O'Regan. Photograph: Jean Khoury Beranger
Up hill, down dale, twisting country roads and a forecast of torrential rain, some of the challenges for Team Full Circle in the May Flyer Sportive on Sunday 8th May 2011.
Organised by the South Western Road Club (SWRC) the May Flyer sportive, held in aid of Full Circle Fund for the 2nd year, comprised two seriously tough courses. An 86km route climbed 3450ft and the longer 146km route scaled both North and South Downs with long, twisting climbs of over 6000ft; it wasn’t just the distance that made this sportive such a test of endurance and courage.
The unpromising forecast added to the test, but as 500 cyclists congregated at the start, the early morning May sunshine emerged. A good omen? We think so! The Full Circle colours were soon flying valiantly through the Surrey and Sussex countryside. Several members of Team Full Circle completed the sportive in exceptional times; Alan Brunsden, Vero Bringlow, and Dr Fenella Willis achieved Gold times in the 146km route, and Chloe Hall won Gold for fastest female in the 86km course.
Two members of Team Full Circle, Grant Gibson and Alan Brunsden, are no strangers to a tough challenge. Both have battled leukaemia, their triumphs in completing the 146km course are no less than heroic. Grant - a former bone marrow transplant patient and newcomer to cyclo-sportives - cycled an extraordinary 184km on the day, his determination and success symbolic of his journey and fight with leukaemia.
Grant Gibson and Alan Brunsden
Dr Fenella Willis and husband David
These achievements could not have taken place without the enormous organizational efforts of the South Western Road Club, including former Club President Geoff Redhead, Dudley Samuels, volunteers from SWRC and Full Circle's therapy team, who all deserve a huge thank you. The May Flyer is an exhilarating and inspirational day, helping raise vital funds and awareness of the Full Circle cause at St George's Hospital where both Grant and Alan received their leukaemia treatments. "We are extremely touched by the determination and support of our cyclists" said Full Circle’s Founder, Suzanne Ruggles "Their efforts are an inspiration".
Grant Gibson with his family at the finish
Full Circle Fund supports children and adults with life-threatening conditions at St George's Hospital, London. Team Full Circle is hoping to raise £5,000 to fund a part-time therapist for a year. If you would like to support them please go to: www.justgiving.com/teamfullcircle