From Emsworth to Russia, cyclists smash World Cup challenge

Jamie Marriott and Mitchell Jones arrive in Volgograd. Pic: Stuart Webb
Jamie Marriott and Mitchell Jones arrive in Volgograd. Pic: Stuart Webb

Two football fans have completed an epic 2,400 mile cycle ride from Emsworth to Volgograd in time for England’s first 2018 World Cup match tonight and also broke their fund-raising target in doing so.

The challenge by Jamie Marriott, 28 (from Emsworth), and Mitchell Jones, 24 (from Nutbourne), which started on May 25, was in memory of youth football coach and family friend, Brian Randall of Bosham FC who passed away at the beginnning of the year.

Jamie Marriott 28 and Mitchell Jones 24 being interviewed by the Russian media. Pic Stuart Webb (2)

Jamie Marriott 28 and Mitchell Jones 24 being interviewed by the Russian media. Pic Stuart Webb (2)

Mitchell said the hardest part of the ‘gruelling journey’ was the ‘pure boredom’ of the long and straight Ukraine and Russian plains roads.

Speaking to our sister paper The News, he added: “To begin with we were waking up at the crack of dawn and cycling east until way after dark.

“But as the time passed we have both got much fitter and were travelling more than 100 miles in under ten hours, including breaks.

“It’s feels good to be here, it feels good that we don’t have to get back on the bike and cycle again.

The 24-day challenge covered 2,400 miles. Pic: Stuart Webb

The 24-day challenge covered 2,400 miles. Pic: Stuart Webb

“The fact that it’s the World Cup, the buzz hasn’t really set in quite yet.”

The pair hoped to raise £2,000 for the Sir Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research with the 24-day cycle, but at time of press it stood at £2,324.22. See more at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wembleytorussia

How will you be marking the World Cup? Email pictures and stories to news@chiobserver.co.uk