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Barcelona to Bournemouth cycle challenge

An inspirational supporter of the RAF Benevolent Fund has organised a mammoth cycle challenge this month to raise money for us. In this guest blog SAC Paul Heaton tells us more about it.

I am currently based at RAF Brize Norton and work on 216 Sqn. Our challenge is to cycle from the Olympic Marina in Barcelona to the pier in Bournemouth in 12 days.

The route is roughly 1150 miles and takes us over the Pyrenees and up to Calais. In the Pyrenees we will complete Stage 8 of this years Tour De France, albeit in the opposite direction.

We start in Barcelona on 10 September and finish in Bournemouth on 21 September.Paul and James Heaton

I will be cycling alongside my younger brother James all the way and my father Andy will be joining us for the last 30 miles each day. My mother Alison will be driving the motorhome and making sure we are well fed – it really is a family effort!

The last three years have been quite a ride for my family. My younger sister Jenni has had two operations for a brain tumour. My father-in-law Peter passed away last year after a long battle with cancer and earlier this year my grandma also died from cancer.

It's really tough watching loved ones go through such horrible ordeals so that's why my brother and I decided to give the family something to look forward to and celebrate.

As well as raising funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund we'll also be raising money for the organisation Brain Tumour Research and the GI cancer unit at the RBCH.

By Paul Heaton

Support Paul and his brother James’s cycle challenge by following them on Facebook; search for Cycle B2B. You can also follow them on Twitter and visit their website To sponsor them, simply go to

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