REPRESENTATIVES of charities, schools, Scouts, councils, churches, businesses, care homes, NHS workers and volunteers, architects, travel agents, the Herald and more saddled up for the 2019 Rotary Club of Farnham Charity Cyclathon on Saturday.

Teams of four were again challenged to pedal as far as they could at the Farnham Maltings on a static exercise bike in 50 minutes. Thirty-five teams threw their hat in the ring, and after nine hours of fierce competition, representatives of CHIKS, a charity supporting impoverished children in southern India founded by former Herald editor Robin Radley, came out on top with a distance of 34km.

Team Drummond (32.88km), representing club president Richard Drummond, came second overall and one of two teams from Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre (29.78km) came third.

Farnham Town Council’s Bloomin’ Hard took the prize as the best (albeit only) novelty dressed team with a distance of 28.46km, while a team from the Hedgehogs (25.90km) triumphed over the Weyside Wheelers to win the Over 60s contest.

Of the under-16s entries, More House Elite (28.85km) came out on top, followed by teams from Weydon School (24.67km) and St James School, Rowledge (24.50km).

A team from Farnham Dene Medical Practice retained the Hospital Challenge Cup, being the best of the six teams based at the Farnham Centre for Health, but only just – edging ahead of a team from Virgin Care by less than 1km.

Finally, the Atkins (28.59km) won the Family contest ahead of nearest rivals the Winkworths (19km).

Afterwards, Rotary Club of Farnham president Richard Drummond thanked all those who helped make this year’s Cyclathon a success, “whether they were helpers, participants or marshalls”.

He added: “There was real camaraderie among everybody attending and it was a complete joy to see all the happy faces as they competed.”

The president gave particular thanks for the generosity of Preferred Travel, Farnham Town Council, the Herald, Covers, Nuffield Health, Pearson’s Removals and Rotary members for sponsoring the event.

This year’s Cyclathon also coincided with a health and wellbeing event, offering healthy tips and a snapshot of services available at Farnham Hospital.

George Alford, chairman of the Friends of Farnham Hospital, said: “We were delighted to participate in the Rotary Charity Cyclathon again, combining an enjoyable and healthy competition with raising funds for activities at the hospital.

“This year the competition for the Hospital Cup was really close with Farnham Dene just retaining the trophy despite a terrific challenge from Virgin Care for whom Louise Robinson starred with one of the best individual distances overall.

“Farnham Dene’s team were supported by Clare Park as part of a package which also enabled the health and wellbeing event to take place alongside the cyclathon.

“We also thank Waitrose for supplying fruit for the nutrition stand. Finally, the trustees thank the Herald itself for lending us Daniel Gee who started the event with their team’s best distance.”