Cycling marathon a success

A team of cyclists riding across Portugal to raise money for cystic fibrosis have successfully completed their marathon 500 mile race, which included a visit to each of the Euro 2004 stadia.

Bob Clarke, the father of a 10-year-old cystic fibrosis sufferer, organised the sponsored event. Bob and his fellow cyclists arrived in Faro last Friday at 1pm, having set off from Braga a week earlier. He told The Resident that the ride had been a great success: “We managed to make it to all the stadia. At some of the arenas, because of security risks, we were not allowed to get too close to the ground itself. We set off at most days around 5am or 6am to avoid riding in the extreme heat and by noon we were finished.”

Mercifully, the trip was accident free, apart from minor punctures. The cyclists stayed at different hotels en route, with a day off in Lisbon. “We were wearing our cystic fibrosis uniforms. We made a film of what we were doing and that will be shown on BBC Newsroom South-East in the next few days,” Bob told us.

Bob’s daughter, Sophie, was in Faro to meet her dad. “She was there to greet us.She was so pleased to be there.” Bob still doesn’t know the exact amount the ride has raised for Sophie and other cystic fibrosis sufferers, but estimates that it will be between 24,000 and 25,000 euros. “We are organising a nice venue to make the presentation of the cheque, hopefully at Stamford Bridge football ground,” he revealed.

Bob was thrilled by his reception along the way. “We couldn’t have lost to a nicer nation in the tournament. We’ve liked all the Portuguese people we’ve met and everyone was really welcoming.”

• Anyone interested in making donations to this very worthy cause can visit the website at