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SpecialEffect News

08 May 2013

Team Benson grit gets them to Groats

Here they are. The RAF Benson team looking saddlesore but triumphant at John O-Groats. They raised over £750 for SpecialEffect and every penny was earned through pain, rain and determination. 

Below: No quitters - Team Benson at the finish

For anyone (like me) who reckons this kind of journey is a bit of an extended cycle ride, here's their Facebook post ( after reaching the end. Sums it up perfectly:

"The day started unlike any other, with the support guys clucking around us like hens making sure we were all happy, we were all ready to go, on time, for the first time ever in this trip.

The landlord came out to wish us luck and we were off. It soon became very apparent that the young lad in the pub last night wasn’t just trying to scare a bunch of Englishmen (and one Scot) these hills were horrible. But we were determined to smash through them and with Stef leading the way the going was hard but our determination was more than a match for them.

The trouble with the hills here is that they never seem to end. You convince yourself that the end of the hill is around the next corner but the b****r just goes on. Its worth saying at this point that Jim still had a bent derailleur so was still three gears down, yet still managed these hills. Big respect Jim.

Phil managed the hill powered by energy gels, where as Al was on Red bull power. Unfortunately Stef was still using his Banana Man super powers so had disappeared off into the distance long ago.

But the end came today at just before two o’clock, and we crossed the line into John O’groats as the weather closed in. Al produced a bottle of champagne from some where, god knows where cos he’d been wearing lycra all the way but it was a very welcome break from energy drinks!

With the photos done, we packed up and headed off to our accommodation for the night, a huge steak and a very very large glass of wine.

We have to thank Stef for pushing us to complete each days target and for his almost faultless navigation leadership, and Jim for arranging all the accommodation.

But it was once again the support team that we have to thank the most. Not only for the daily buffet but there was nothing that was too much trouble for them. Even on the last day, on the hardest corner on the steepest hill they were there with their encouragement. I’m sure we could have done this trip unsupported but with Zac and Lee behind us it made this adventure a whole lot more fun. Thanks lads."

Total Stats
Miles: 885
Calories: 34202
Height climbed: 35027ft

Jon Batten, Matt Brocklebank, Jim Wilson, Stef Elertowicz, Al Thorpe, Phil Bloomfield, Zak Woolgar, Lee Taylor - you're legends. Thank you!

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