03 August 2023
The Lap of Anglia is a four-day, 435-mile cycling challenge in aid of East Anglian Air Ambulance taking place each summer. The event has raised over £216,000 to save lives across the region since it began in 2013, and we are hugely grateful for this incredible support from organisers and participants.
Now in its tenth year (with a virtual event during the pandemic), the 2023 Lap of Anglia will start at Helimed House, our Norwich HQ on August 16, and among the participants this year are some of our colleagues at EAAA, who are embracing the opportunity to put their best pedal forward!
Zoe Harris, EAAA Community Projects Lead is taking part for a second time, while Pete Sago, Emeritus HEMS Paramedic will be participating for the first time. We spoke to Zoe and Pete to learn more:
“I completed Lap of Anglia in 2021 when it was the longest ride due to hotel locations,” Zoe says. “We cycled 443 miles with 70 other riders! It was tough but I knew that distance over four days was never going to be easy!
“It’s my chance to help support our amazing charity and a brilliant opportunity to be focussed on a challenge and keep fit at the same time.”
Pete says: This is my tenth year at EAAA and its the tenth iteration of the Lap of Anglia, so it seems serendipitous! Also, this is a challenge that whenever I have seen it, I have thought ‘I'd love to do it’ but not sure I could. I'll find out this year!”
Both have been fundraising and training hard. Zoe is cycling five or six times a week, while Pete has tackled a couple of 100-mile challenges during weekends, as well as some back-to-back shorter rides. With each Lap of Anglia daily ride totalling over 100 miles and hills on day two, which both Zoe and Pete said they feel apprehensive about, preparation will stand the participants in good stead.
There is so much to look forward to. The event is fully supported with overnight accommodation, and with it comes opportunities to unwind and share stories with the other Lap of Anglia cyclists. Friendships can be made as the participants come together, all raising money to help save lives.
Zoe, who is taking part in memory of her late husband, says: “I really enjoy the laughs and the friends you make. It sounds cliché but you meet friends for life. This year, I am cycling with someone who I met while completing the Lap of Anglia in 2021.”
Pete adds: “I’m looking forward to getting out with some like-minded people, enjoying our awesome region, and raising money for EAAA.”
All the money raised by the Lap of Anglia participants in 2023 will add to the amazing total of £216,000 raised over the last ten years to support our life-saving service. We receive no regular government funding, so it is thanks to our incredible supporters that we are kept in the air and on the road, saving lives across the region 24/7.
Zoe and Pete see first-hand the difference that this support makes:
“Working with the clinical team is fantastic and rewarding, but helping support the work with fundraising adds another level,” Pete says. “Knowing that my pedalling will help buy medical kits, train new clinicians and support EAAA missions is the motivation!”
Zoe concludes: It’s very humbling to know that every donation we receive will help save more people’s lives. It’s a huge motivation when the days become tough, and the legs are tired. I would encourage anyone to take on this challenge – the achievement you feel afterwards is incredible!”