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Ilkley Penguins waddle on to raise £20,000
2:13pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in News
A waddle of rain and wind- lashed penguins arrived safely home in Ilkley on Monday having raised £20,000 for Yorkshire Cancer Research.
The team of 16 fundraisers had successfully completed the 2013 Penguathlon to achieve the amazing fundraising total.
The challenge saw them setting off on bikes from Headingley Rugby Ground on Saturday morning to cycle all the way to Newcastle and take part in the Great North Run on Sunday before cycling home.
Their journey was supported by JD Cycles of Ilkley and Eco-Link Couriers, who provided support vehicles.
On Sunday the Penguathlon participants met up with Jonathan Edwards, the Olympic Gold medal winning triple jumper and BBC presenter and a BBC film crew, who captured the penguins cycling over the Tyne Bridge to the start line for the Great North Run.
They achieved celebrity status when they featured in BBC1’s live coverage of the race with an interview with Olympic hurdler Colin Jackson. The first ‘Emperor Penguin’ over the line, Dr Jon Greenwell from Burley-in-Wharfedale, was also interviewed by the BBC, this time with Olympic bronze medal-winning sprinter Katherine Merry.
The return trip was a much bigger challenge with rain and 20mph winds slowing the Penguins down. However, they made it to their finish line at Bar T’at in Ilkley where they were met by a team of masseurs laid on by Ilkley Osteopaths and enjoyed Penguin Beer by Ilkley Brewery, food laid on by Bar T’at and a welcome party of more than 50 friends and family.
Penguathlon 2013 organiser Mark Summerson, 40, of Burley-in-Wharfedale, said: “The support we have had from members of the public, from the BBC, from organisations and people offering their time, money and skills has just been phenomenal, for something that started as a drunken idea at the Swan beer festival in Addingham last year, just beggars belief.”