More than 200 cyclists will hit the road this weekend to remember a fallen Sunderland hero.
For the eighth year running, Cuthy’s 200 will see hundreds of charity bike riders make the 60 mile-trek from Catterick Garrison to Ashbrooke Sports Ground in memory of paratrooper Nathan Cuthbertson.
The former St Aidan’s pupil, from Tunstall, was just 19 when he was killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan in June 2008. Since then his family and friends have kept his legacy alive by raising thousands of pounds for military and civilian charities.
This year’s Cuthy’s 200 will take place on Sunday when thousands are expected to welcome the riders at the sports club, which will host a family fun day including a spectacular display from the Parachute Regiment display team, the Red Devils.
Dad Tom Cuthbertson, who leads the ride with wife Carla, said: “This is the eighth anniversary of our Nathan’s death. Time is flying and Cuthy’s 200 is still as well supported as ever.
“This year we had to close the applications early due to the sheer numbers, as we have 250 riders making the journey with us. We’ll also have the full Red Devils team of 14 jumping which should look amazing.
“It’s always an emotional day and it takes your breath away when you arrive back into Ashbrooke to see all those people cheering us on. It’s quite a sight and always gives you a lump in your throat. The support we get is phenomenal and has helped us raise money for many different charities over the years.
“We even get help getting the bikes to Catterick with SR Transport in Washington providing drivers and trucks for free.”
The riders will leave Catterick, the training camp for the Parachute Regiment, at 7am and are due into Ashbrooke Sports Ground at 3pm.
The family fun day will take place ahead of the riders’ arrival and will continue afterwards with a barbecue, live music, beer festival, climbing wall and face painting. The Red Devils are due to parachute in, weather permitting, at 5.15pm.
Tom and Carla are also part of the Brothers in Arms group which founded the memorial wall around Sunderland’s cenotaph to remember those who lost their lives in recent conflicts, operations and training.
Cash raised from rides in previous years has gone to good causes including Brothers in Arms, as well as the Salvation Army in Sunderland, the Parachute Regiment Association, the Not Forgotten Association, and the A690 Youth Project.
Entry to the fun day is free.