Helen Russell one day ahead challenge
After returning from five weeks of cycling with Ciclo Costa Blanca, it was time to plan my triathlon race calendar. A silver medal in my age group at the 2014 European Aquathlon Championships meant that I had pre-qualified for this year’s championship race, so I was expecting to focus on my swimming and running. However, all that changed when I was asked to join the Le Tour-One Day Ahead team. This year I will be putting my triathlon ambitions on hold to focus on something more important than winning medals.
I am excited to announce that I will be joining the ex-England footballer and cancer survivor Geoff Thomas to cycle the entire route of this year’s Tour de France one day before the pros, with the aim of raising over £1m for Cure Leukaemia.
From 3rd-25th July I will ride 3344 kilometres over 21 stages, covering a combination of some short punchy climbs early on, the cobbles of the Seraing to Cambrai stage, the brutal 18 hairpin ascent of the Lacets de Montvernier and a classic climax on Alpe d'Huez. Over the three weeks I will have to cycle 9 flat, 3 hilly and 7 mountain stages as well as 2 time trial routes. At an average of around 100 miles/170km a day for three weeks this will be, without a doubt, the hardest thing I will ever have done but I am sure that the winter of cycling in the mountains with Ciclo Costa Blanca will have been good preparation!
I will be part of a small team and only one of two women on the team. I am hoping that not only will my participation help raise £1 million to help beat Leukaemia but also show that women can ride the same route as the men and boost the argument for a women’s Tour de France.
All monies raised will go towards the life-saving work carried out at the Centre for Clinical Haematology (CCH) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham (QEHB), where Professor Craddock treated Geoff Thomas. In 2003 Geoff was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia and was given less than three months to live. Following treatment from Cure Leukaemia Co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock, Geoff has been in remission since January 2005. The £1 million we hope to raise through Le Tour – One Day Ahead will increase the Centre’s ability to deliver pioneering treatments for blood cancer patients at this international centre of excellence in Birmingham, UK.
So this is where I ask for your help. Please, please, please support me in my cycling challenge. Any donations, however small will make a huge difference. I am hoping to raise £50,000 (70,000EURO) which is a huge amount but with enough support is possible! My Just Giving page is:
You can watch my video to hear more about this amazing challenge for an amazing charity!