Two cyclists from Northampton taking part in epic 2,200km race around Ireland

Neil Barford and Kev Hardwick are taking part in a 2,200 race around Ireland. Pictured with Stuart Burke (centre) owner of Newlec cycles in Northampton
Neil Barford and Kev Hardwick are taking part in a 2,200 race around Ireland. Pictured with Stuart Burke (centre) owner of Newlec cycles in Northampton

Two men from Northampton are planning to cycle more than 2,000 kilometres around Ireland to raise money for Northampton General Hospital’s trauma unit.

Neil Barford, aged 52, and Kev Hardwick, aged 42, are taking part in a cycle endurance race that follows the coastline of Northern and Southern Ireland.

The race, which is believed to be one of the toughest endurance events in the world, begins on August 28 in Trim in the Republic of Ireland and finishes in Moynalty 2,200 kms later.

The cyclists have 132 hours, just over five days, to complete the distance.

Mr Barford, who is a swimming instructor in the Duston area, said: “We have both been cycling for many years, racing locally and nationally at various distances from 10 miles up to 24-hour events.

“We both have always wanted to do one of the big cycling endurance races. It does not get much bigger than RAI.

“It’s a very unique race made more difficult by the terrain which includes lots of climbing, together with the Irish weather on the West Coast. Navigating will be a challenge and that is where our super crew come in to play.

“We have five guys to support and assist us – all of whom will be giving up a week of their time to help us through. We are extremely grateful to Brian, Shed, Jules, Steve and Nick.”

Mr Barford said the team is raising money for Northampton General Hospital’s trauma unit, as he received excellent treatment in the hospital after a serious road accident two years ago.

The cyclists are grateful for the support from local business including Newlec Cycles, Phoenix Paving and Witty, Pask and Buckingham Physios in Northampton.

To find more out about the event or to sponsor the cyclists go to the Facebook page ‘Seven men and a shed race around Ireland’.