London to Paris cycle ‘toughest challenge yet’ for Bexhill fundraiser

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Four fundraisers from Bexhill cycled from London to Paris in extreme weather conditions to raise money for a mental health charity.

Hannah Richards is taking on a year of tough physical challenges to raise money for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).

She is raising money and awareness of male suicide in memory of her brother Sam, who took his own life on his 20th birthday in August 2017.

Already this year, Hannah has completed the Brighton Marathon and Tough Mudder Full. Later this year, she will also take on the 24 Peak Challenge, which will see her climb 24 peaks in the Lake District over two days.

Hannah set off on the 311-mile London to Paris cycle on Wednesday (July 24) alongside her dad Anthony Richards and teammates Matthew Stephens and Joe Pettigrew. They rode from Croydon to Dover, where they then caught the ferry to Calais. The next three days were spent riding across France before arriving in the capital city – and crossing the finish line in front of the

Eiffel Tower – on Saturday.

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But an already difficult task was made even harder by extreme weather conditions along the way, from 47-degree heat to torrential downpours.

A post on the team’s social media page at the end of Thursday’s cycling said: “Day 2 complete – 80 miles... Plenty of hills, no shade. It was 47 [degrees] on top of the hills. This was an extremely hard day... We’re all shattered. It was called off towards the end because of the heat.”

Speaking after the event, Hannah said: “This challenge was the toughest one so far, the route itself was challenging only to be made harder by the extreme weather conditions from scorching heat to torrential rain – you just can’t win!

“But I was amazed by my team’s strength and optimism and I was so grateful for everyone’s support and encouragement.

“It was a great experience and one I will never forget.”

Hannah, who won the Observer’s Achievement Award at this year’s 1066 Community Awards, has already raised an incredible £4,250 so far this year. To donate to the cause, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hannahrichardscalm.

To follow Hannah’s year of challenges, visit https://www.facebook.com/hannahteamcalm/.