Cycle marathon numbers down but smiles are bright!

THURROCK’S annual cycle marathon took place around the streets and rural roads of the borough this morning (Sunday, 3 June) and though the numbers were down on recent years, with around 300 riders, the event was voted a big success.

Organised by the Rotary Club of Mar Dyke Valley the marathon has raised several hundreds of thousands of pounds over the past 25 years and the latest edition is bound to add significantly to that tally.

A presentation ceremony will take place later this year when the proceeds will be distributed.

Today’s event took place in bright sunshine which saw the riders set on their way across a seven, 21 or 42 mile course starting from Blackshots Leisure Centre.

Borough mayor Cllr Barbara Rice – whose consort and husband Gerard once more took part in the ride to raise funds for Thurrock Branch of the RNLI – and Rotary Club president Paul Havis cut the ribbon to start the event just after 9.30pm.

First home in the seven mile event was Sean Murphy, followed by youngster Austin Allwright, with Ian Allwright behind him.

Many riders tackled the 21 miles through the rural north Thurrock countryside, passing through Orsett, Bulphan and North Ockendon on the way, with the real enthusiasts, including many members of the Gateway Cycling club, doubling up and completing 42 miles.

All the riders were safely home by 1pm.

“It was another smashing event,” said Rotary Club secretary Graham Dockrill. “Unfortunately the date clashed with a couple of other events this year, and we were missing a lot of scouts, who normally take part, because of their jamboree,  but it was still very successful and I’m sure everyone enjoyed it.

“Thanks as usual to all our wonderful sponsors including The Port of Tilbury, intu Lakeside, Decathlon, Impulse Leisure, Lehrian Transport, South Eastern CVR Ltd and IFS and to Essex Police, St John Ambulance and the mayor (and her office staff) who turned up to help make it such an impressive day. and to Rotary members, their families and friends who turned up to man the route, serve refreshments and help make it a real community effort.”

All those who took part were entered into a draw for a new cycle donated by Decathlon and the winner was Karen Dobsen of Estuary Cottages, East Tilbury.