Pedal-power may put fundraisers in the record books

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FUNDRAISERS are hoping pedal power with a difference will get them a place in the record books.

The group of five hand-pedalled 18 miles each on a special machine to raise money for charity.

HANDS-ON From left, Louise Oram, Tim Snowden, Paul Massey, Ricky Downes and Richard Hunt. Picture: Malcolm Wells (132465-1063)

HANDS-ON From left, Louise Oram, Tim Snowden, Paul Massey, Ricky Downes and Richard Hunt. Picture: Malcolm Wells (132465-1063)

Richard Hunt, 43, came up with the idea for a 24-hour hand bikeathon, while training for his solo kayak challenge around the UK, which is due to take place next April.

Richard, from Portchester, was injured when he was serving with the military and had his leg amputated.

Since losing his left leg, he has been helped by the charity Blesma and wanted to give something back to them.

The team of fundraisers started its hand bikeathon at 9am on Sunday at Fareham Leisure Centre and peddled in rotation until Monday morning.

Each of the team’s five members peddled for six hours. The group was raising money for Blesma, which helps injured service personnel.

Richard said: ‘It was exhausting, absolutely exhausting. I don’t think any of us realised how difficult it would be.’

He said that he managed to sleep for about 20 minutes on the floor of the gym, and that one of the team members did not get any sleep at all.

Richard said: ‘There was no actual world record listed for hand bike.

‘We have to send off all our evidence now to see if they will accept it as a record, I hope so.

‘The main thing is that we raised money for a great cause and awareness of the Great Paddle Round.’

Richard was joined by his sports massage therapist Louise Oram, physical trainers from the leisure centre Tim Snowden and Paul Massey, and gym user Ricky Downes.

Richard said that he is hoping to organise a kayak around the Isle of Wight as a warm-up to his 2,000-mile round-Britain challenge.

The group raised an impressive £900 through donations and raffle ticket sales, and the total is still rising.

Donations can be made to Richard’s JustGiving page at justgiving.com/richieoneleg.