Cyclists take on Race to the Sun to support homeless Armed Forces veterans

This May twelve amateur cyclists are taking part in Alabaré’s epic Race to the Sun sponsored challenge, raising funds to help veterans who have struggled and faced being homeless since leaving the Armed Forces.

This five-day event, which starts on Monday 16 May, will see the participants complete a gruelling 487 kilometre circular ride across Gibraltar and Andalucia, in Southern Spain.  The riders will face staggering category 1 ascents totalling 8,600m which is just less than summitting Everest at 8848m in temperatures of more than 30 degrees.

The challenge is being led by Army Veteran Major Ken Hames MBE, who spent time in Gibraltar during his military career, and is passionate about ensuring veterans get the support they need if they struggling after leaving the Forces.  Ken is being joined by 11 other cyclists, some of whom are veterans themselves or have family who have served.  Each has their own reasons for wanting to complete this daunting challenge, and each is passionate about raising funds towards Alabaré’s Homes for Veterans.

Ken says,

“Raising money for our homeless veterans, our veteran cyclists face a stiff test of stamina and endurance over mountains of Andalucía.  This act of courage and care personifies our values in Alabare bringing together a determined team who understand well our reasons for doing it. The challenge is about teamwork and encouragement tackling Category 1 Tour de France type ascents and descents—this is a lot by anybody’s standards, and we salute and wish the team every success with a comfortable saddle!”

David Perkins is one of the cyclist taking part in Race to the Sun.  Dave’s Grandfather served in the Royal Hampshire Regiment in WWII, and he says he has deep respect and gratitude for the bravery, commitment and work carried out by our armed services all around the world.  He also has personal empathy with those who have struggled with their mental health.

Dave says;

“I’ve been through tough mental challenges including depression, which as due to a relationship breakdown.  Looking back, talking, sharing thoughts, exercise as well as routine was paramount to my recovery – not to mention having a roof over my head. If I had not been blessed with this support network then I am not embarrassed to say that my life could have been very, very different… Some are not as fortunate as I.”

“I have a total appreciation and gratitude of the sacrifices our Military men and women have made to provide us with the foundations to live as we do today. I had always wanted to give something back, especially to those who have given so much to our country. Personally, I can’t think of anything more humbling, rewarding and critically important than to help those who have given so much and are suffering as a consequence, in the here and now.”

Alabaré would like to thank all the incredible cyclists taking part in Race to the Sun, along with everyone who has sponsored and supported them.   Alabaré are also very grateful to a number or organisations who have kindly supported this event including Ibex insurance,  Admiral UK, Rebecca Day 360° and Marshall’s Mercedes .

David Whitmore, Director of Ibex Insurance says;

“We are delighted to sponsor Alabaré’s Race to the Sun.  The Armed Forces have had a presence in Gibraltar for more than 300 years so where better to start and finish a challenge to raise life-saving funds for homeless and vulnerable Veterans”

“I would also like to take this opportunity to wish the participants the best of luck …… and I trust they will enjoy the tough but stunning and spectacular route …good luck!”

Rebecca Day, founder of Rebecca Day 360°, sources natural ingredients from origin for her products from communities as far as Nepal & Melakula Island.  All profits go to supporting disadvantaged people back in those special communities.In UK, Rebecca supports Veterans  who in turn can support our humanitarian in remote environments.

Rebecca says;

“It is an honour to sponsor projects which empower & inspire Veterans to transition back into civilian world.”

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