With 2,730-miles and 10 countries to tackle however, ‘From
Russia to Hope’, which is scheduled to take place in June
2019, looks set to be the boldest challenge yet, with the riders
starting in St Petersburg and ending up in Wales – via the
Arctic Circle. The physical test will be one thing, many of those
taking part are veterans of previous GM cycling tours, but as I
said, the organisation and logistics required are monumental.
Arranging suitable insurance for Russia alone has proven to be
On top of that, there’s the additional task of corralling and
co-ordinating a team made up of some of the glazing industry’s
most successful managing directors and CEOs, most of whom
are used to giving out the orders, not being told what to do!
Mr Morton needs a medal just for just getting them all in a
room together for a few hours, never mind a trip to Russia and
For more details, including how to keep track on the team
and how to donate, you can read a more in-depth and exclusive
article on pages 10-12.
I was fortunate enough to able to attend the launch of the latest
(and last ever) GM Fundraising cycling challenge recently –
‘From Russia With Hope’.
Fortunate not just because it afforded the opportunity
to have a good look around the National Cycling Centre in
Manchester and watch Team GB in action on the spectacular
velodrome, but also because it revealed the staggering amount
of planning and effort required to organise such an expedition.
For those that don’t know, GM Fundraising was established
in 1996 by Gary Morton (now CEO of West Midlands based
Boing Boing Group), initially to support child based hospice
charities but later dedicating itself solely to the Hope House
Children’s Hospice in Oswestry. Since then, thanks to a whole
range of events that have included everything from gala
dinners to golf days, it has succeeded in raising over £1.5m.
Of all the fund raisers, it has been the cycling challenges that
have been the most exciting and of course, rewarding – starting
with ‘Top2Bottom’ in 2005 that involved a 974-mile ride
from John O’Groats to Lands End, raising over £51,000 in the
process. After that, the cycling got really serious with a number
of international rides, culminating in 2016’s ‘Border2Border’
that involved a 2,111-mile trek from Canada to Mexico, an
incredible feat that raised over £195,000.
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