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Andrew & Simon cycle & run to clock up more Great Molasses Challenge miles

Posted on 31 May, 2024

With less than two weeks of the Great Molasses Challenge to go, colleagues have been busy clocking up the miles.

Special mention for Andrew Creasey, a Trader in the United Molasses Trading team, who took part in last Sunday’s Ford RideLondon-Essex 100.

Andrew completed the official distance of 103 miles in 6 hours 10 minutes. More than 25,000 people took part in the longer challenge or shorter ones covering 60 and 30 miles.

Andrew, who also took part last year, said: “RideLondon-Essex is a legacy event that came out of the London Olympics in 2012. All along the course there is a real festival atmosphere.

“What makes it particularly special is that it is a closed roads event so you can really enjoy the cycling.

“I’m always impressed by the levels of support there are along the route with locals setting up tables and chairs and cheering all of the cyclists on.

“The event encourages the full range of abilities from hardcore road cyclists to those taking part in their first event of this kind. You also get a full array of bikes including Brompton bikes, hand cycles and even the odd Boris bike.

“We were fairly lucky with the weather, rainy and damp when I started just after 7am in Westminster, but with the only downpour lasting about 15 minutes midway along the route.

“It’s so inspiring seeing all the different charities that are represented by the cyclists and great that I could ride it in aid of UM’s chosen charity Farm Africa. I’ve already entered for next year!”

While Andrew was undertaking his epic bike ride, colleague Simon Markham was running his second marathon of the Great Molasses Challenge, this time in the historic city of Edinburgh.

With a fantastic time of 3 hours 20 minutes, Simon came 899th out of just under 10,000 participants and was 6th in the 60-64 age category.

Simon said: “It’s a lovely course, starting in the city passing Edinburgh Castle, through Princes Street Gardens and the historic Royal Mile, before heading out quite a long way past Musselburgh racecourse and along the coast.

“It was a really good day, despite the awful weather, and I actually secured the qualifying time to take part in next year’s Berlin Marathon!”

Simon said the Great Molasses Challenge had really mobilised the UM team with over 80 colleagues having so far got involved, 70 of whom had each contributed over 40km (25 miles) towards the target distance of 7712km (4820 miles) which represents the distance of the first ever UM molasses shipment in 1912 from the Dominican Republic to Hull.

The Challenge will finish with the Hull 10K on Sunday, June 9th.

This week, Simon and Nigel Jones also visited the France Melasses team in Arras where 15 colleagues either ran 10km or walked 5km, all of which will be added to the final tally.

Meanwhile, in London, several colleagues have taken part in the Battersea 5K and 10K runs, held on Wednesday 29th.

As we enter the final stage of our Challenge, please keep up the great work and adding those miles to our specially created app.

Farm Africa, our chosen charity, is working to reduce poverty by helping farmers in eastern Africa to grow more, sell more and sell for more. Thanks to the work of the charity and its supporters, rural families are growing their incomes while also protecting their local environment for future generations.

Simon added: “While it has been fantastic to raise as much money as we can towards the vital work of Farm Africa, the Challenge has also been great for fostering team spirit across the Group, encouraging colleague engagement and getting people to be active for a great cause.

“It’s already prompted lots of conversations about how we can make some of the activities from the Challenge more of a regular thing.”


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