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Riders gear up for marathon runs as part of the Diss Cyclathon

PUBLISHED: 14:52 25 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:15 28 June 2017

An estimated 1,000 competitors took part in the Diss Cyclathon. Photo:Lucy Begbie

An estimated 1,000 competitors took part in the Diss Cyclathon. Photo:Lucy Begbie

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It was an early start for cyclists this morning as they met for the Diss Cyclathon that began at an eye-rubbing 8am.

Competitors were up at the crack of dawn to sign in for the Diss Cyclathon. Photo: Lucy Begbie Competitors were up at the crack of dawn to sign in for the Diss Cyclathon. Photo: Lucy Begbie

It was an early start for cyclists on Sunday as they met for the Diss Cyclathon that began at an eye-rubbing 8am.

An estimated 1,000 competitors arrived at Diss Market Place to take part and raise money for the East Anglia Air Ambulance.

Sponsor Mick Madgett said the event attracted riders from all over East Anglia as well as from Diss.

Mick Madgetts from Madgetts Cycles in Diss was on hand to support cyclists. Photo: Lucy Begbie Mick Madgetts from Madgetts Cycles in Diss was on hand to support cyclists. Photo: Lucy Begbie

“About 1,000 riders are taking part today, that’s double last year’s numbers, ” he said.

“It is a challenge to do something physically active, but with runs of a 100, 50 and 25 miles there is something for everybody today.

East Anglia is flat - but you don’t get any down hills to relax either!”

Childhood friends Robin Briscoe, Graham Trudgill and Malcom Chambers reunite for the Diss Cyclathon. Photo: Lucy Begbie Childhood friends Robin Briscoe, Graham Trudgill and Malcom Chambers reunite for the Diss Cyclathon. Photo: Lucy Begbie

Graham Trudgill, Malcom Chambers and Robin Briscoe last cycled together nearly fifty years ago when they were students at Diss Secondary Modern School.

But a reunion on Facebook a few months ago led to the childhood friends arranging to meet again and cycle in the Diss Cyclathon.

Sixty-two-year-old Robin Briscoe said: “I’m not sure about how much chat there will be - I might need a few pushes.

Chris and Lara Griffin-Sparrow ride out on a tandem for the first time with eleven-year-old son Will. Photo: Lucy Begbie Chris and Lara Griffin-Sparrow ride out on a tandem for the first time with eleven-year-old son Will. Photo: Lucy Begbie

“If I can still walk at the end, yes we will be celebrating.”

It was the first time on a tandem for Lara and Chris Griffin-Sparrow who were joined by their son Will.

“It was my birthday yesterday and I’m recovering from a hangover - so I’ll just sit on the back and cruise,” joked Lara.

Andrew Scott riding his recumbent bike which is capable of speeds up to 40 miles and hour. Photo: Lucy Begbie Andrew Scott riding his recumbent bike which is capable of speeds up to 40 miles and hour. Photo: Lucy Begbie

“I can’t wait, I’ve never been this far before - I just want to achieve it, “ said eleven-year-old Will.

Andrew Scott from near Alburgh was riding a recumbent bike and reckoned the ride would be a piece of cake.

“Riding this bike is like being on a bobsleigh, you feel you are flying above the ground - pure poetry,” he said.

Olly Simmonds with his son Oscar and son’s friend Ethan Griffin-McCleary had already cycled twelve miles on their triple bike.

“It’s great but I can’t wait to give it back,” Mr Simmonds laughed. “ It’s maximum fun and very sociable but efficient it is not.”

Oscar Simmonds, Ethan Griffin-McCleary and Olly Simmonds ride their triple bike in the Diss Cyclathon. Photo: Lucy Begbie Oscar Simmonds, Ethan Griffin-McCleary and Olly Simmonds ride their triple bike in the Diss Cyclathon. Photo: Lucy Begbie

A fantastic day was had by competitors in the Diss Cyclathon at the weekend. Photo: Lucy Begbie A fantastic day was had by competitors in the Diss Cyclathon at the weekend. Photo: Lucy Begbie

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