Tour de Toby – from Wallsend to Bourness and back!
Our long term supporters Wallsend Harriers are on their bikes again this year for Tour de Toby Part Deux – 190 mile cycle from Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway, before turning those wheels around and heading straight back to Tynemouth to complete the challenge. What an achievement!
“We’re just so passionate about St Oswald’s. We started almost 15 years ago in memory of our friend Linda and we just keep going – we have to keep going! I lost another friend, Patricia last year and it’s just so important that St Oswald’s is available to support those families when they need them, making sure they get the best possible care. We have to do what we can to help”.
– Kevin Payne – Wallsend Harriers
The Harriers have been fundraising for St Oswald’s Hospice since 2008, a journey that began raising funds in memory of Linda Todd, wife of member Bill and dear friend. The club began hosting annual Toby run challenges to raise funds, running incredible distances together including the castle and coasts path, the length of Hadrian’s Wall and 3 day virtual event during 2020 lockdowns creating Toby with a Twist that covered a 1291.66 miles – that’s Tynemouth to Monaco, and over the Italian border finishing up in Genoa!
After years of running the club decided to get on their bikes and try a new challenge, Tour De Toby. This summer Part Deux saw 12 club members take on route 72 that follows Hadrian’s Wall from Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway. Not the easiest of routes with the steep inclines, unpredictable weather and a puncture or 3!
“We certainly had our challenges this year! But if everyone was doing this it wouldn’t be a challenge, it’s hard for a reason. We got off to a bumpy start a few miles in on the Quayside with our first puncture … followed by a second in Newburn and third in Crosby on Eden. Everyone laughed at 2 punctures in the first day, not the best start but we all mucked in. I’m not sure if that was a help or a hindrance but we got going again and looked forward to a well-deserved pint that day at Twice Brewed.”
Recovering from punctures and dried out from torrential rain the club made it back to Tynemouth in high spirits having completed this incredible cycling challenge and raising £3,000. This latest push has now seen the Harrier’s cross the line to reach an outstanding overall total of £50,000 for St Oswald’s Hospice. Simply remarkable!
Our extended thanks to all club members who took part this year, including Kevin Payne, Dave Collinson, Karl Burton, David Hughes, Barry Allsopp, Mick Skeldon, Darryl Roe, Paul Stretesky, Andy Wigmore, Ian Gowing, Rob Strettle and Dave Rowe.
We can’t wait to see where the Toby Challenge takes you next year!