Cathy Gilman
Posted by

" Sunshine she's here"

Cathy Gilman
Posted by
19 Jun 2014

Friendships being made, shared stories, suncream, nerves and Pharrell's "Happy" making everyone smile and that's just the start of London to Paris 2014 on a spectacularly gorgeous (very early) morning in Greenwich Park.

Anticipation & Excitement

I could feel the atmosphere of anticipation and excitement as soon as I went through Blackheath Gate in to Greenwich Park at 6.15am this morning, for the start of London to Paris. It's hard to describe just how wonderful it was to see the riders in their "Unstoppable" kit and the vehicles and support crew all branded up ready for the 4 days ahead, it's really emotional to see so much support for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

Five Live & Geoff

Geoff Thomas, ex-footballer and inspirational leukaemia survivor, was catching up with friends old and new, posing for photos and chatting to Five Live about the World Cup and the ride. I'm sure they'll all make sure they're finished, with glass in hand by 8pm tonight!

Special Lady

There were noticeably more female participants this year, including Tessa the very special wife of our Finance Director Jonathan. Tessa lost a leg to cancer when she was younger, but that's not stopped her taking part in London to Paris with Jonathan on a tandem. They've already raised £2400 and when more people realise the extent of the challenge they are undertaking, I'm sure there will be more to come.

Shared stories

I had the chance to hear very many moving stories, and motivations for taking on this incredible physical challenge- 500 kilometers in 4 days. I've no doubt that this will enable so many of the participants to dig deep when they need to and have the courage to keep going even when it will be very hard. I spoke to a couple whose brother-in law- died from leukaemia following an unsuccesful transpant in February, another whose son was unable to beat Acute promyelocytic leukaemia, but managed to have a huge celebration party before he sadly passed away 2 years ago. There were survivor stories too and some great fundraising stories like Trevor Jackson from Wickes, who with the support of his fabulous family has beaten his £2,000 target.


Team effort

None of this would be possible without generous sponsors Catley Lakeman; fundraisers The Restaurant Group; the many cycling specialist companies providing vehicles, timing chips, drinks, filming etc ;an incredible team of employees and volunteers as support crew; the vision of Dan Solley who created the event and of course the very many families and friends who have been generous enough to sponsor all of the participants.


" I'm Happy"

Just like last year, as I waved them off with a few words of encouragement and headed back to Holborn, I felt like Cinderella ! But as Pharrell says " "Can't nothing bring me down" for very long with a team of people like that beating blood cancers, so I'm happy- no prizes for guessing the theme tune for this event! If you want to be part of this event, sign up for our email newsletter  to be amongst the first to sign up next year.



Wonderful photos Cathy! Reading the updates on twitter it sounds like it's going really, really well so far. Phenomenal the amount of miles they're putting in really - don't know where they get the energy from!