Express & Star

Charity round-the-Wrekin ride takes place for real and virtually

An annual charity bike ride around one of Shropshire's most famous landmarks took a different turn this year, managing to raise hundreds of pounds for a hospice.

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Jim Kempt, Roger Eden, Dave Smith, Hugh Porter, Gilbert Parkes and Katy Wright take on this year’s Round the Wrekin Sportif

Due to the pandemic, the Round the Wrekin Sportif was organised virtually, with participants able to take part from home.

Usually, about 1,000 people would attend the ride and choose from one of three distances while raising money for Compton Care hospice in Wolverhampton.

But instead organiser Hugh Porter met in Pattingham with 17 others in groups of six to traverse about 30 miles, with dozens more having completed the distances from home.

Hugh, 81, who has been organising the event since 2016, is a patron of the hospice and said many people had donated to a "wonderful" cause – with his group raising £400 alone.

"People that wanted to raise money and enter could choose to participate in any way they wanted," he said.

"That could be on a road bike, a home trainer, an exercise bike – however they could complete the distances to raise money for a wonderful cause."


The choice of three routes were 27 miles, known as the Hugh Porter, 50 miles called the Compton Care Classic, or the Epic – a gruelling 100 miles.

Hugh, from Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, said he hoped the event next year, which has been scheduled for May 17, will be able to take place.

He added: "This is a great opportunity for local people to raise money for Compton Care, as well as keep the flame going for the Sportif.

"It also served as a nice opportunity to see friends and pals we hadn't been able to see during this torrid time.

"We normally start from Kingswinford Rugby Club and we hope next year we can run it properly."

Despite the recent we weather, Hugh said they were blessed by intermittent sunshine.

"We were extremely lucky with the weather – especially considering what we've been having recently," he said.

"We rode the whole route and the sun shined. Within two miles of being home we had a little shower but apart from that it was brilliant."

Hugh added: "Next year, we'll have a new route as the current one has been going for four years.

"The event is all ready and in position, we're just hoping all this dreadful pandemic will give us the chance for it to go ahead."

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