A group of 40 cyclists have completed a 1,000-mile expedition in memory of two former Christ’s Hospital pupils who died in a climbing accident in the Alps in 2009.
Since Rob Gauntlett and James Atkinson tragically died at Mont Blanc in 2009 their friends and family have endeavoured to follow in their adventurous footsteps and raise money for causes that the pair believed in under the banner of ‘One Mile Closer’.
Following two fundraising projects in 2009 and 2012, in just 14 days the group rode from Prague in the Czech Republic through Germany, Belgium, and France, finishing in Washington last Saturday August 16.
For many of the cyclists it was their first time on a multi-day group expedition, making the challenge all the more impressive.
The One Mile Closer team has raised more than £60,000 for the Rob Gauntlett Trust, which has built a secondary school in Uganda, and the James Atkinson Bequest, enabling Christ’s Hospital pupils to undertake outdoor activities such as Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and geography field trips.
Richard Lebon, one of Rob and James’ closest friends and group leader, said “This was the hardest tour we’ve done so far with long days, relentless hills and brisk headwinds, but the team spirit got us through and we successfully achieved the twin aims of fostering the spirit of adventure in our new riders, and raising money for our charities.”
Aged just 19 Rob became the youngest Briton to climb Mount Everest with close friend James Hooper in 2006, and became National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year in 2008 for the pair’s Pole to Pole Manpowered expedition.
To donate visit their JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/teams/OneMileCloser2014