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Are you looking for a challenge? Hit the Downs MTB is back with a brand-new cycle route for 2020.
Now in its fourth year, the off-road charity cycling challenge is taking place on Sunday 3 May 2020, with riders raising money for Worthing-based adults’ hospice, St Barnabas House, or local children’s hospice, Chestnut Tree House.
The stunning South Downs course will test riders with its multitude of climbs and rapid downhill descents. Participants will set off from Adur Recreational Ground in Shoreham-by-Sea and can choose from a cool 30km route, challenge themselves to the 60km ride, or dare to take on the epic new 80km distance.
Steve Torricelli, 51 from Worthing, signed up to the 30km route last year with his 17-year-old son, Dan. “It was an amazing challenge for us to do together”, Steve says. “We offered each other support along the way and we made some cracking memories together”.
The pair chose to take on the challenge for Chestnut Tree House to say thank you for the care and support they have received as a family, and to give something back to the charity which is predominately donor funded.
Steve’s daughter, Becca, now 20-years old, was one of the first children to receive care from the children’s hospice when it first opened its doors in 2003, and Steve is clear that the support she received over the years has helped to make her the strong young woman that she is today.
Becca has spinal muscular atrophy, a condition that affects 1 in 8,000 people. Her condition impacts her mobility, swallowing and respiratory system and she has always been in a wheelchair.
“The event was amazing, in part due to all of the volunteers who helped out on the day. It was very well organised, we really enjoyed the route, and it was impressive from the start to finish line. If you’re thinking about taking on the challenge this year, just make sure you train hard – cycling off-road is harder than I thought!”.
Sophie Henderson, Events & Campaigns Fundraiser for St Barnabas House and Chestnut Tree House, said: “At last year’s event there were 525 riders who came from across Sussex and further afield, and together they raised an incredible £58,799 for both hospices.
“Whether you are a seasoned rider, new to two wheels, or are taking on a personal challenge for loved one, by taking part in Hit the Downs MTB 2020 you will be ensuring that families who know they don’t have long together can live life to the full.”
Why not make 2020 your year to Hit the Downs. Visit www.hitthedowns.org.uk to register or find out more.