A charity cycle team led by former Scotland Captain and British & Irish Lion, Rob Wainwright, cycled from Twickenham Stadium, London to BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh 6-8th February 2020.
Setting off on 6 February, the Wounded Lions 500, which included international rugby players and endurance cyclists pedalled for 48 hours, arriving in time to deliver the match ball for kick-off at the Scotland vs England match at 4.45 pm on 8th February 2020.
Other players joining the challenge included John Hall, England International; Paddy Johns, Ireland International; Paul Volley, Wasps legend – all completing the full 500 miles. John Barclay, former Scotland and current Edinburgh flanker; Kelly Brown, Scotland International; Roger Arneil, Scotland International; England International; Paul Wallace, Ireland International; Peter Winterbottom, England International; Damian Cronin, Scotland International and Paul Burnell, also Scotland, all took part during various stages.
The team is aiming to raise over £100,000 for two charities close to the hearts of all involved and is also being supported by Neubria - creators of a range of plant-based supplements that are rooted in science and proven to support brain health. Crerar Hotels, a luxury hotel chain based in Scotland, and Fosroc, provider of high-quality construction solutions, are among the other generous sponsors.
My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, founded by former Scotland International and Lion, Doddie Weir, which was set up in 2017 following his Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis to fund research for a cure to the devastating disease.
40tude was selected by Tom Smith, a former 61 cap Scottish International and two-time Lions Tourist who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 Colon Cancer. 40tude helps to fund pioneering research projects, targeted at the early diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer.
Rob Wainwright commented: “I’m hugely honoured to have played for Scotland and the Lions alongside Doddie and Tom. Both are top men and both have tragically hit hard times with their health recently. Whilst we cannot heal them, we can point our bikes north for 48 hours and inspired by their fortitude and courage in the face of huge adversity. Two very different characters, but legends the twain. We aim to beat last year's £65k fundraising total, and help improve both the treatment and the prognosis for MND and Colon Cancer.”
Jonny Kennedy — who was forced to quit rugby professionally after a series of punishing concussions and the founder and brainchild behind Neubria adds: “We are thrilled and immensely proud to be involved with the Wounded Lions 500 charity cycle team. It means a lot to myself personally and everyone involved with this venture. It is a real honour to be part of such a brilliant initiative.”
Crerar Hotels Chief Executive Paddy Crerar CBE added, “‘spirorad na h-Alba,’ or ‘spirit of Scotland,’ is our company motto. If anyone is the embodiment of the Scottish spirit it’s Doddie. An authentic man with a great heart, humour and real determination – we are all with him, as one.”
This is the second year that the ride has taken place, having raised £65k in 2019. Riders last year averaged 2 hours of sleep across 48 hours during the gruelling challenge, which saw them maintain speeds of 15mph in order to deliver the match ball on time. This year’s ride will be split into legs with short breaks at rugby clubs throughout the UK, including professional side Northampton Saints, former club of Tom.
Cyclists are warmly welcomed to support the team and join the ride for as much of the route as they wish with a donation of £1 per mile. However, please note that the ride is unsupported and pirate code will apply after the first 50 miles. More details of the route and timings are available on the website here: https://woundedlions500.co.uk/
All donations make an important difference and can be made on the Wounded Lions 500 fundraising page here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/WoundedLions500