Plymouth Audi main sponsors for HMS Drake Road to Twickenham 100 (R2T100)

Four serving members of the Royal Navy based at HMNB Devonport will undertake a charity bike ride from HMS Drake to Twickenham. The objective of this charity event is to ride 500 miles in 5 days visiting ten Premiership Rugby Clubs en-route to the Rugby Football Union Headquarters. The event will coincide with this years centenary Army vs Navy Rugby match held at Twickenham on Sat 29 Apr 17. Over the last 6 months the four cyclists (CPO Jason Gay, CPO Matt Brown, PO Danielle Setterfield and PO Howard Peplow) have conducted hours of conditioning in preparation for the ride and will be accompanied by their support team comprising of WO1 Natasha Pulley and CPO Paddy Kerr.

Jason said “I am thrilled to be organising this event in aid of Cancer Research UK and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity. The Premiership Rugby Clubs have been extremely proactive in providing support, despite their busy work schedules. And for a group on non recognised cyclists (the majority have purchased new bikes for the event) this ride will prove to be very demanding and an exhilarating challenge, knowing the money we raise will go to worthwhile causes is the best part of all".

The majority of the teams families have been affected by Cancer, cyclist Danielle said

"Natasha who will provide vital support to the team will also be responsible for liaising with rugby clubs and supermarkets prior to the cyclists arriving at venues said “In Jun 2015 my mum was unexpectedly diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. She hadn’t been ill and just went to the doctors with a persistent cough. Within three weeks from her first appointment with her GP she had an x ray, a scan, an oncology appointment and she was given the catastrophic news that without treatment she had approximately 8 weeks to live!! We were devastated to say the least. This is one of those things that ‘never happens to you’ My mum was inspiring from the outset. When the oncologist asked her if she wanted to try chemotherapy she replied that she wanted to try everything – she wasn’t ready to die! Two days later she was in the Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske to start chemo. She was 72 years old.

For the next four months she spent 3 days every three weeks in hospital receiving her treatment and she was amazing through it all. She has such a determination to get through it, even when she lost her hair (she rocked the bald look) lost over a stone in weight and felt rotten, she just kept fighting! A month after chemo she underwent a month of radiotherapy. Every day for a month she had radiotherapy to her lungs and every day for two weeks to her brain! She just kept going. We had no idea of it was working but she was so fiercely determined to survive that she told herself every day it was. In Feb 2016 we went for a scan. Her tumour had shrunk so much they could hardly see it! The next few months were crucial. She has small cell lung cancer which is very aggressive and there was now no controlling how quickly it could grow. It was a waiting game. Every three months she had to return for a scan to see what was happening.

We are now in Apr 2017, almost 2 years after her diagnosis and she is still here. At her last scan in February it was decided that she doesn’t need to be seen for another 6 months. She has been abroad and is planning to go again in Aug. When she was diagnosed and going through treatment we didn’t think that would ever happen again. There is no controlling who gets this hideous disease and no controlling how people respond to it. Cancer nearly took my mum but she is a fighter and we are forever grateful of the time we have had and the time we have to come”.

The team would like to thank their main sponsors Plymouth Audi for their generous support by providing kit as well as Kitworld, Spiders and Milk Marketing, Amberon, Keyham Vaults, WBW Solicitors and Certini Bike shop who provided donations to the charities.

All proceeds will be split evenly between the two charities, to support the teams challenge please visit
in5days. The team can also be followed on Twitter and Instagram @R2T500MILES (#500miles5days)