Sailors hit the road in hospital cycle marathon

Crew run to Aberdeen then cycle back to Coventry

by Tom Henry   March 21, 2010  

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A Royal Navy crew has supported a neonatal unit at Coventry Hospital by cycling and running more than 600 miles.

The crew from HMS Diamond ran 146 miles from Glasgow, where their new ship is being built, to Aberdeen, then did an about-turn and pedalled 454 miles to Coventry, spending a total of eight days on the road.

A bugler was on hand to greet the sailors as they cycled the final stretch across the hospital site to the women and children’s entrance, where they were greeted by a crowd of staff and youngsters.

LPT Daniel Fallon told the Coventry Telegraph: “It’s been quite gruelling. As physical trainer I’m supposed to be the fittest one here but I struggled. But it’s been worth it – it’s all about making a difference.”

HMS Diamond has signed up to support Coventry’s neonatal unit for the next 20 years.

The crew will hold a host of fundraisers for the hospital unit.

To celebrate their achievement the 10 sailors were made guests of honour at the Lord Mayor’s Charity Ball.

Lord Mayor Coun Jack Harrison was delighted to welcome the fundraising heroes and “buy them a shandy”.

He has spent his year in office raising money for the neonatal unit, which cared for 600 of the smallest and sickest babies from Coventry, Warwickshire and beyond last year.

He said: “The crew are not just helping today’s children, they are committed to helping the city for years to come.

“It is my privilege to welcome them to the city and to our wonderful University Hospital. On behalf of the people of Coventry I would like thank them very much.”