Para Nathan's name lives on as riders get set for anniversary challenge
A mammoth bike ride is to be staged to mark a decade since a Sunderland soldier lost his life in a suicide bomb attack.
Private Nathan Cuthbertson was 19 when he and two of his colleagues were killed while on foot patrol in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.
The three were serving with the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) when the tragedy happened on Sunday, June 8, 2008.
Since his death, his family have made great strides to keep his legacy alive, with his parents Tom and Carla helping to make the Veterans’ Walkway in Mowbray Park a reality.
They have also held the annual Cuthy’s Big Bike Ride, which sees supporters start from the regiment’s base at Catterick Garrison and cycle a 60-mile route back to a family fun day at Ashbrooke Sports Club.
Around 250 riders are expected to take part in this year’s event on Sunday, June 10.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the former St Aidan’s School pupil’s death, there will also be a Cuthy’s 200, which was first held in 2009 as a 200 mile ride over 24 hours.
This time, around 15 riders tackle a course which will see them cycle to Catterick and back, covering around 200km - or 124 miles.
Tom, 49, and Carla, 46, will join their son Connan, 24, for the shorter ride, which will again cross the finishing line at the club.
Tom and Connan, who is now with the Territorial Army and is training as a medic, both served in the same regiment as Nathan.
Tom said: “It’s the 10th anniversary and all the support we have had over that time is massively appreciated.
“I think this will be a big year because of that and so many people take part, it’s phenomenal, and the memorial wall and everything we have achieved, we’re just gob smacked.
“But it’s also really humbling, seeing everybody take part, and seeing the support they give is immense.
“It’s also raised lots of money for good causes.”
Funds raised through the efforts of the Cuthbertsons and their supporters have been used to support a caravan at Wilton Castle, which is offered to people with sick children and for those in need of a respite break.
It has also gone to support causes such as Support Our Paras, which is based in Colchester.
The welcome home event at the end of the ride will include a barbecue, visits by the emergency services, with the riders expected to arrive between 3pm and 7pm.
To sign up to the ride of for more details visit http://www.cuthysbigbikeride.com/home.