Hundreds of Viking Challenge cyclists plough through the mud
and live on Freeview channel 276
A heavy downpour the day before made the latest edition of the epic charity off-road event challenging but loads of fun.
More than 700 cyclists took part over a choice of 65km, 55km or 30km circuits, starting and finishing at Redmile CE Primary School.
Proceeds from entry fees and donations will once again go to the school, and Nottinghamshire charity, Reach, which supports local people with learning disabilities.Organisers were indebted to the support of a small army of volunteers.
Fastest times of the day were:
65k – The Mega Viking: Billy Reed 2hrs 22mins, who replaced his dad who had previously been in the top eight of riders since 2010.
55k – The Big Viking: Mick Burton 2hrs 15mins.
30k – The original Viking: Andrew Morton 1hrs 38mins.
Chris and Karen Crawford returned for the fifth time to complete the course on their tandem, although route changes led to them getting stuck in a rut at one point.
Jane Noad, chair of the organising committee, said: “It was great to see the mud return to the Viking Challenge as 2022 was the hottest and driest event we had had to date.
"We saw lots of muddy bikes, faces and legs return after the challenge.
"A big thank you to our huge team of volunteers, who were incredible in making the event happen this year, with 90 marshals and 60 volunteers who make this event happen.
"Next year is our 30th anniversary and we can’t wait to celebrate with some route changes.”
There were also a number of pupils from Redmile School who tackled the challenge with their parents.
The event continues to be a family-focused event which brings the local community together as well as many others from all over the country.
It is not just an event for the local villages, though, as it attracts cyclists from across the country, travelling from as far away as Liverpool, York and County Durham.
Steve Copeland returned once again in his own private plane from Jerez, Spain, travelling 2,245 miles to take part in the event.
Many riders return each year to take on the challenge, with one rider having completed 28 of the 29 events which have taken place since 1995.
Redmile School headteacher, Alison Longden, said: “Year after year, we are delighted to welcome the Viking Challenge riders to the Vale.
"This year, we saw a number of familiar faces and some new riders who have pledged to return again next year.
"Riders are so appreciative and even thankful for the mud.”
She added: “Special thanks to everyone who volunteered their time before, during and after the event; we couldn’t have done it without you.
"The money raised from this year’s event will support the many trips we have planned for the children and a virtual reality experience.”
There will be an announcement about the funds raised from the 2023 event at the event’s presentation event in January.
Those interested in the presentation night or next year’s challenge can follow the ‘Viking Challenge’ Facebook page for photographs, news and updates.