Team take on 145-mile bike ride – in a supermarket?

MISSION COMPLETED Allan Hobson, Andy Burns, Neale Bulbeck, Simon Waggott, Gary Tough, Mick Hopper and Darren Abson at Roker after completing their C2C ride.
MISSION COMPLETED Allan Hobson, Andy Burns, Neale Bulbeck, Simon Waggott, Gary Tough, Mick Hopper and Darren Abson at Roker after completing their C2C ride.
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A TEAM of firefighters relived their coast-to-coast cycle adventure as they added to a fund to help a boy walk.

The crew members from stations across County Durham set out on the 145-mile route last month as they collected cash to help five-year-old Thomas Brennan undergo an operation in America to help him walk without pain.

Allan Hobson, Andy Burns, Neale Bulbeck, Simon Waggott, Gary Tough, Mick Hopper and Darren Abson all took part in the cross-country effort.

Their ride raised £1,300, but the colleagues decided to top that with an event at Seaham’s Asda store.

Simon, Gary, Neale and Allan were joined by Graham Chaytor and David Newton as they rode or ran for 30-minute intervals to cover the combined distance of the ride and a marathon.

The event was staged in the supermarket foyer using a treadmill and static bike, raising a further £694 thanks to the generosity of customers.

That money will be used to help cover the cost of equipment to help Thomas’s physiotherapy when he returns from surgery.

Simon, a watch manager based at the town’s fire station, said: “Both of the challenges, the C2C especially, had difficulties to overcome, but whenever there was a lull, we thought of little Thomas and the difficulties he has faced in his life.”

The men thanked those who sponsored and donated, along with County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue for its support during the ride, which included the use of a mini-bus and van to transport equipment and loaned the men the fitness equipment for the in-store event.

Its sports and social committee also helped fund the ride, with Jeff Davison driving them to Whitehaven and Sharon Donahue, who carried out a risk assessments with Asda, allowing them to use the entrance way for the run and static ride.

Thomas, who lives in Ushaw Moor, is already in America in preparation for his surgery to his legs, with the trip costing £55,000.

He suffers from spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and the procedure will involve severing a nerve in his spine.

The operation is not available on the NHS and as there is a long waiting lists for surgeons in the UK, his family were advised that travelling to America would offer the best chance of success.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham