40tude News Update - November 2016
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40tude has had a busy few months since we were last in touch, so here’s a round-up of recent events and our exciting plans for 2017.
We’re delighted to be able to share with you the film of our sixth annual cycle challenge which was a great success in Catalonia last month. Some 50 cyclists formed the 40tude peloton this year, riding up to 160km in a day and pushing themselves to their limits on some of the high roads of the routes used by the Vuelta a España. As a result of their fantastic efforts over £53,000 has been raised so far through this event, helping us to continue to support the pioneering work of St. Mark's Hospital which is making significant advances in transforming the treatment of colon cancer.

A fuller account of this year’s ride is available to read below, meanwhile please take a look at our new film here and please share the link as widely as possible to help us tell the 40tude story. 
If you would be interested in joining us for our fully-guided ride next year please let Kate know to ensure you receive all further details.
Back for a fifth year, our annual Stand Up Paddleboard Marathon on the River Thames will take place on Saturday 24th June 2017.

Please keep this date safe in your diaries and help us spread the word by letting your friends, family and colleagues know about our fun but challenging paddle over a marathon distance. You would be very welcome to field a family or work team – perhaps consider a team-building event with a difference? 

If you would like to receive priority information for this fantastic event please do let us know by registering your interest here. This doesn’t commit you to joining the event, but will help us ensure you receive all further event details as soon as they're available.

Congratulations to our stellar supporters Diane Walker and Brian Kilpatrick who recently undertook another major walk in support of 40tude – this time the Thames Path Challenge, 100km from Putney to Henley.  Diane and Brian have completed several intrepid hikes in the past, including a trek to Everest Base Camp, however this challenge comprised the longest distance they had attempted in the shortest time. 

Over two days in September they braved wet conditions, painful ankles and feet together with sleep deprivation, walking for several hours in the dark with only a few hours of rest overnight at the halfway point, where many others chose to finish their walk.  As a result of their incredible endurance and efforts they’ve raised more than £4,400  – a huge thank you to Diane and Brian for their amazing commitment to 40tude and to all their kind sponsors who have helped them raise this fantastic amount.
 5th to 9th October 2016
This year’s cycle challenge took us to the hills of Catalonia in northern Spain. On our arrival in Barcelona one could feel the buzz of energy from the fifty cyclists - a mix of familiar and new faces - about to take part in a challenging three and a half day cycle ride from the mountains to the Mediterranean, following in the tyre tread of the Vuelta a España and taking on routes the pros frequently ride.
Having arrived at the beautiful Cardona Parador it wasn’t long before we were all on our bikes stretching our legs and getting a taste of what was to come. This clearly wasn’t going to be easy with plenty of energy-sapping ascents and breath-taking descents and we were quickly reminded how dangerous this type of cycling can be with our first major incident in six years - a broken collar bone and an emergency hospital visit unfortunately being the result.
Day two was our first full day in the saddle and after reflecting on the previous day’s events and with groups chosen we all headed off to wide open vistas of the descents down into the valleys, giving us a view of the stunning climbs we could expect later in the ride. With some of our more intrepid cyclists heading west from Cardona to join the road north towards the Col de Jou, a Vuelta climb of 1482m, the remainder chose to tackle the slightly lesser Col de Jouet climb of 1232m which took them to the foot of a ski slope. Challenging climbs and stunning views were had by all and by the end of the day the view of our resting place for the night was very welcome as we arrived in Berga, nestled in the foothills of the “pre” Pyrenees.
Day three of the challenge saw each of the groups tackle the amazing high roads of the routes used by the Vuelta a España. Stunning views were enjoyed by all as we skirted around small hilltop villages crammed on to promontories that looked down over forests and crags with either the Coll de Merolla (1100m) or the Alto de los Llosses (982m) being the main climbs of the day. Everybody ended the day by taking on the not insignificant climb up to the Vic Sau parador (an old country house) where we would be staying. In a breath-taking setting overlooking the Sau dam we regrouped and all enjoyed a well-deserved beverage whilst sharing the day’s experiences.
With our final day upon us the peloton headed out of Vic across a largely flatter agricultural area peppered with tiny hamlets, and in a more or less direct trajectory to the coast. With the hard Vuelta climbs of Sant Hilari Sacalm (810m) and Epic Mare de Deu del Angeles (470m) behind us and after a much enjoyed lunch, the final afternoon’s windy route took in the best of the area, including the charming hills of Les Gavarres just outside Gerona. Speeding through sleepy villages the final stage of the day ended at the coast at Pals.
Celebrating what we had achieved, this had been a testing challenge for many and the determination to succeed is a reflection of the purpose and support we all have of the amazing work of our friends and fellow 40tude cyclists, the medics of St Marks.  
Stuck for Christmas present ideas?  We have a small number of the Huez cycle jerseys produced for our Catalonia Cycle Challenge available for you to snap up at the hugely discounted price of just £40. Worth £70, our jerseys this year sport a new striking design and are of the superb quality you’d expect from Huez, which definitely proved popular with our cyclists on our challenge last month. 
Also on sale are the last few T-shirts commemorating our 2016 ride.  In a choice of either grey or white and featuring our Catalonia logo on the front, they cost £25 and are available now only in XL and XXL sizes.
If you would like to take us up on this limited offer don’t delay, please let Kate know and she will send you details of how to make a donation to 40tude in return for your shirts.

And whilst on the subject of cycling kit, an Australian study has found bicycle helmets reduce risk of serious head injury by nearly 70%.  Read the full story here and please do stay safe when out on your bike.
Talented 40tuder Phoebe Ray will be playing a Christmas Special gig at Brasserie Zedel, Piccadilly this Friday, 2nd December. Ever since our patron Chris Evans saw her perform at one of our early fundraising events and decided to play her unmastered demo on his primetime Radio 2 show, Phoebe has attracted unanimous praise for the quality of her voice and writing of “beautifully bittersweet pop melodies” (Indie Shuffle). Book here to see Phoebe live.
More information on the exciting events we are planning for 2017 will follow soon.  If we can help with anything in the meantime, don’t hesitate to let Kate know (
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