#CC300 Challenge – Tales from Team Hare
The highs, the lows and the sticky bits in between...
Unlike the famous hare from the Aesop fable ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’, no one on the hare team was caught napping! From day one the going was extremely tough and despite all the obstacles in their way they made it through to victory and an amazing homecoming courtesy of friends, family and staff.
Team Hare Riders:
- Alan “Marcel Kittle” Betteridge (Sales Director, ARM)
- Andrew “Alberto Contador” McDonald (team mechanic / guest rider)
- Andrew “Jens Voight” Vaughan (Account Manager, ARM)
- Justin “Geraint Thomas” Chambers (Account Manager, ARM)
- Mark “Thor Hushovd” Channon (Bloc Director)
- Paul “Dave Brailsford” Mallinson (Optamor Director)
Team motto: “Shut up Legs”
The epic journey began with an early start from the Havant HQ with perfect weather and road conditions. Both teams set off for the first 100 mile leg of the journey ending in Slough cycling together, but quickly split into two teams, Team Hare and Team Tortoise. With this part of the journey over and 12 hours in the saddle they were all filled with a sense of tremendous achievement and were tired but surprisingly upbeat!
After another early start on the second day, Team Hare made it to the first stop point in good time with both teams storming ahead to the second stop at Abingdon after a brief stint cycling along the A34! After setting off again for the last leg both teams got lost and found themselves off roading on their road bikes! Luckily the support team was on hand to help out and put the teams back on the right route. They all arrived at the hotel one after another to share stories of getting lost, off-roading, personal bests and riding up mammoth hills.
After two gruelling days in the saddle Team Hare were all excited not only by the prospect of some proper riding on familiar roads, but also the inclusion of guest rider Andrew McDonald, team mechanic. With their route planned in their heads rather than via the Garmin Team Hare left Team Tortoise, setting off early to ensure they could reach the Bloc office in Bournemouth and be on course for the home stretch back to Havant. First stop was Lyndhurst, which the team reached before 9am then it was on to Bournemouth.
Once again the pace was strong, despite the previous 240 miles and 25 hours from the previous two days. The hare team did well and managed to dodge the thundery showers that had been all over the forecast. They rocked up right on time and were welcomed with Krispy Kreme doughnuts and an embroidered banner from the Bloc office!
Despite a minor mishap, which resulted in a buckled wheel the team made their way with a steady pace to Ocean Village, Southampton. After a quick check of emails and a final “band of brothers” moment of inspiration, the team headed for the penultimate stop and a liaison point with Team Tortoise also fondly know as Team Sat-Nav.
United with the Tortoise Pack the final leg of the journey into Havant began and it’s safe to say, the welcome reception was overwhelming for the whole team with emotions running high. After 345 miles, 10,522ft of elevation, 13,883 calories burnt, a serious amount of energy bars, flapjacks and copious amounts of chamois cream the journey was at an end.
So in the epic journey’s aftermath, how does the Hare Pack feel about the experience?
“I found the whole experience really exhilarating. From when we set a higher-than-necessary sponsorship target of £20,000, agreeing a very difficult physical challenge that no one in the group knew they were capable of completing, to then devising a plan to deliver these.
The partnership shown by the Serocor group staff, the riders and support teams was the catalyst in the success of this event. What resonates most with me is the enjoyment, and close bonds we all formed, particularly when at times we were physically and mentally drained.
I want this to be the start of a wider cycling legacy that ARM becomes well known for. It is an excellent story to tell potential hires into our company and a good case study when clients ask what we are doing around 'corporate responsibility'”.
“I feel honoured to have been part of the support team that helped the cyclists through this amazing challenge – a very emotional experience!”
“The total experience was nothing short of amazing and I feel a little lost without the prospect of such an event to look forward to. The day three ride was a real highlight, the camaraderie (great team spirit) made it for me, the support team were fantastic, and we couldn’t have done it without you. Finally the welcoming at the Bloc office and the reception at Havant HQ were nothing short of emotional.
All in all, memories that will last a lifetime!”
Andrew MacDonald – Team Mechanic
“Two words spring to mind ‘emotional and proud’.
I have the utmost respect for everyone who took part and organised the whole event, you all have shown what can be done when you put your heart and soul into something.
As someone from outside the company I was honoured to be allowed to help over the three days and to take part on the final leg into Havant HQ, I kept in the background as the real stars were the other 11 riders.
Hollie, Kim, Andrew and Paul in the support team were great and looking back I had no low points just many high points along the way especially Lauren (my daughter) making it into London.
Once again thank you all for making my time with you so enjoyable and memorable”.
Watch the highlight video here