The day started out brilliantly, with sunny, blue skies & a sense of fun in the air. The cyclists started arriving about 8:30am. I had a chance to speak to quite a few of them to see where they were from and how they had heard about the event.
 
Jeff Aiken was from Comber, and had found out about the challenge at another cycling event he had recently attended in Bangor. He has only been cycling for about a year, but was excited about the day and looking forward to the challenge.
 
Maureen Dawson is from Ballynahinch, and she saw a leaflet, advertising the event. She actually belongs to a Cycle Touring Club and has been cycling for the past 20 years. She gets out every week to ride.
 
Graham Walker has only been cycling for the past 4 years. He found out about the event from a co-worker. He has participated in several other cycling races, most recently in Bangor.
 
I then met the Allen family, who were out to participate in the challenge. There was the father, Jim Allen, who has been cycling for the past 30 to 35 years. He has completed the Belfast to Dublin race.
 
Jim's brother, Bobby Allen was also present. He is from Dundonald. He says he just cycles for pleasure.
 
Then there was Stephanie Allen from Bangor. She said she has only been cycling for about 2 years now. Also along for the event was her partner, Chris. The entire family was in very good spirits & excited to start the challenge.
 
Austin Walker was from Belfast. He had two friends that were also there for the event. He has participated in 22 races.
 
Marvin Baird saw the event advertised in a shop in Larne & decided to come along. This is his very first challenge, as he has only been cycling for about a year. Marvin is 62 years of age.
 
Stuart Dellow of Bangor, saw a flyer in a gym. He has been racing all over the world, for the past 10 years. He has raced in Egypt, the Grand Canyon and a race from Argentina to Chile which took 6 days to complete, and was 340 miles.
 
Richard Hall of Ballyclare is a member of the King's Moss Cycle Club, which was established in 1922. He has completed the Devis Challenge & many other races.
 
Joe Cooke, also from Ballyclare, is the Chairman of the King's Moss Cycle Club, and also participated in the challenge.
 
Sonia McLaughlin is from Derry. She is a member of the Dromara Cycle Club & has recently completed a 135 mile race which took 4 days to finish.
 
Before the challenge started, a prize draw was made for a voucher to the Ballygally Hotel, for a two night stay. The winner was James O'Boyle, who was delighted to accept his prize.
 
Eamon Gorman of Belfast was noted as the individual who raised the largest amount of donations for the event. The amount was £275.00.
 
Our youngest participant of the day was Cuan Bell, 14 years of age, who came all the way from Holywood, on the train with his bike. He was also the last cyclist to register.
 
The eldest cyclist today was Robert Rooney, 73 years young, from Saintfield, who only recently started cycling.
 
The first cyclists arrived in Cushendun at about 11:40am. These cyclists averaged about 19 miles per hour.  After water, fruit and stew some returned with only a short rest back to Larne. 

Prize Draw winners where as follows:

1st Prize H Wright Antrim

2nd Prize M.Billington (Holywood)

3rd Prize B Carey (Belfast)

The total amount raised was just over £4,000 and we would like to thank all the cyclists and volunteers who turned out to make the evnt possible. A big thanks to all the companies who donated items and helped organise the Day: Ballygally Castle Hotel, Bikeit, Tipperrary Water, Hunky Dorys Crisps, Fagan Fruits, Healthni.com, Doherty & Gray, Zeus Packaging, Wired-or-less, Burger King, Hickland For Cycles, P&O Irishsea, Denny, The Londonderry Arms Hotel, The National Trust, Cycling Ulster.

A big Thanks to members of Larne Swimming Pool/Council, Moyle Council, The National Trust, Cushendun District Development Association for their professional approach and encouragement.  The Motorbike Policeman for outstanding leadership and wisdom in assisting to marshal the cyclists.  A special thanks to Danny Beaven and associates who was a key help at local level in Cushendun.

And a big thank you too to all of our sponsors, who donated resources and prizes to help make the day a winning event.

SEE ALL THE ACTION IN THE GALLERY.

Look forward to seeing everyone next year!

If you would like to help in any way please contact Ed or Tanya at admin@makeadifferenceworldwide.com or Mob:07789595564. This was our first event and an excellent start, and we immediately can see areas where we can improve. We would welcome comments to help us improve for next years event and this input is valuable so please contact us! 

LOST PROPERTY:Someone lost their tyre changing kit just past the Ballygally Hotel if you have any information please contact us. A helmet and gloves where left at the finish line stand. A pair of gloves where left in Cushendun.Please contact Ed on Mob:07789595564