Three’s the Lucky Number

Posted: 21st April 2015 by Stephen in News
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On Sunday 19 April 2015, a new ‘Spires CC Sportive Dream Team’, comprising of three club members Mark Stewart, Stephen Mewha and Marty Mc Erlean along with their hugely supportive respective wives, Nikki, Sally and Paula, delivered a highly successful “Three Loughs Mini Sportive”. The proceeds from this event will contribute towards the guys’ overall fundraising activities for the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100, which is taking place on Sunday 2 August 2015. It is all in aid of support for Action Medical Research for Children, a charity that saves and changes children’s lives through medical research.

The innovative concept to cycle around the three loughs comprised of a choice of three routes, namely Lough Neagh, Lough Fea and Lough Beg – 90miles, 50miles and 30miles respectively. The guys stated that wanted to give something back, preferring not to just receive sponsorship money from people for the event in London. Hence, during a casual conversation between the three guys, the three loughs idea was born – in fact they love the idea so much they intend it to be a Spires CC Annual charity event.

However, for this year’s event a massive 95 cyclists turned up for the day, which for a mini sportive was a true testament to the organisational skills, hard work and passion of those involved. Leaving from the Coachman on Rainey Street, Magherafelt at staggered times between 8am and 11am to allow for the range of abilities and mileage to be covered, the day passed off beautifully without any major setbacks or drama. Indeed, the only ‘crash’ of the day was on the pavement at 8.04am before any of the riders even got going and of which the details are scant. However, the keen cyclist Stephen O’Kane reported that no-one, nor nothing was injured or damaged (apart, perhaps, from a little pride).

Thankfully all the riders arrived back at Marks’ pub, the Coachman, safe and sound shortly before 1pm; where at a light lunch was served.  An atmosphere of high spirits and comradeship was catching, enhanced once again by the background serenading of top tunes from our good friend, chief supporter and entertainer Mr Pandy Walshe.

Event Organiser, Mark Stewart said “There were a lot of highlights from today, but for me it was that so many people achieved their personal best and pushed themselves beyond their normal limits”. He said “There was a lot of planning, but essentially it was easy really to plan – thanks to Stephen Mewha, Marty Mc Erlean, and the girls Paula, Nikki, Sally and Rhonda Mc Master, whom without there would have been no food stops for the riders”. Mark also added “I would like to thank absolutely everyone who turned up today! Nothing can happen without the people who support us and we were humbled by everyone turning up today”. This includes Spires CC members, as well as cyclists from Bann  Valley, Carn Wheelers, Castledawson and Termoneeny cycling clubs.

Event Organisers, Wee Marty and Stephen also commented that it was just a very good day’s cycle and fun to have so many people out on the day. They were keen to thank everyone too, including  Freshways fruit & veg’ who sponsored the bananas!

All the cyclists could not have had enough praise for the day. Noel Johnston, who cycled around Lough Neagh, said “Well done to the three Amigo’s Mark, Stephen and Wee Marty for organising today’s Three Loughs Mini Sportive. It was well organised and roads well marked and a great days craic”. Sheila Devlin, who cycled around Lough Fea commented “An excellent event today – a big thank-you to all who organised it. The craic was mighty on our route”.  Paddi Mullholland echoed this and said “Yes, thank you for organising our cycle and the food. I will sleep tonight”. Finally, Trevor Scott summed it up saying “A repeat of what everyone else has said…good day out with good weather…”

Finally, Spires CC would like to thank the guys for such well organised, enjoyable event. The club wishes Mark, Stephen and Wee Marty the best of luck on the 2 August 2015 and will be proud to see their red jerseys leave London to Surrey in support of such a worthwhile cause.  The club hopes that the 2015 Three Loughs Mini Sportive, which raised an impressive total of £585, has made a difference to their final fundraising total – the Three Loughs Mini Sportive definitely made a positive difference to the usual Sunday morning club run. Looking forward to next year already…

By Roisin Kerr, Spires CC Member

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