On Sunday 29 July, 40 cyclists conquered the summer's toughest challenge on two wheels, Prudential Ride London-Surrey, all for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
With temperatures high, individuals from RAF Stations including RAF Honington, RAF Brize Norton and RAF High Wycombe, donned a red, white and blue jersey to raise money for the RAF's leading welfare charity.
Proudly supported on the day by Regional Fundraisers Lisa Hunt and Heather Kemp, the fitness fanatics look set to raise more than £20,000 between them following the 100 mile challenge.
One of the biggest teams taking part for the Fund came from RAF Honington. Their Community Development Officer, Indi Saunders, was part of the team made up of Station Executives and ardent supporters on station.
Indi commented: "I was really excited about the bike ride and had my fingers crossed that it would all go smoothly. The whole team had some brilliant training rides and group spinathons, and they all paid off! How I was able to keep my turning those pedals for 100 miles I still don’t know. It has been so enjoyable being part of a team – it's not every day you get a chance to take part in something this big. As the CDO for RAF Honington, I see every day the impact the Fund has on serving personnel and their families. It was a joy to give something back."
Air Vice-Marshal Stu Butler, of BAE Systems, was another who pedalled through the hot weather for the Fund: "As an ex-Nimrod pilot who served for 34 years, I wanted to do something special in the RAF's centenary year. I did the ride in 2016, so signed up for this year, but with the RAF100 celebrations, RIAT and Farnborough Air Show, I barely had any time to practice!
"With age not on my side (62!), I estimated I would get around the track in nine hours. But I did better than I thought – seven and a half hours! I was also surprised that I wasn't full of aches and pains afterwards! The atmosphere during and after the ride, especially when I met with a number of serving personnel who cycled for the Fund, was great. Although I haven't been directly helped by the charity, I have always seen it as an excellent way to support the RAF Family. That said, it is highly unlikely I will take part again!"
Heather Kemp, Regional Fundraiser for the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: "What an event! To know that so many people took to their saddles for the Fund is truly humbling. To see every Fund jersey cross the finish line was something quite special, so a huge well done and an even bigger thank you to everyone who took part. Your donations will make an incredible difference to the support we give to the entire RAF Family."