GALLERY: Marathon woman Debbie completes gruelling 420 mile cycle ride for Help for Heroes

Debbie Smith cycles the Big battlefield bike run for help for heroes.

Debbie Smith cycles the Big battlefield bike run for help for heroes. - Credit: Archant

IT was the hardest thing she has done in her life but for Debbie Smith she is all smiles now she has successfully finished a 420 mile bike ride for Help for Heroes.

Debbie Smith cycles the Big battlefield bike run for help for heroes.

Debbie Smith cycles the Big battlefield bike run for help for heroes. - Credit: Archant

Saddle sore and exhausted the six day ride was an emotional roller coaster for the March mum who joined 300 cyclists, including injured soldiers, to take part in the Big Battlefield bike ride from Paris to London.

Debbie Smith cycles the Big battlefield bike run for help for heroes.

Debbie Smith cycles the Big battlefield bike run for help for heroes. - Credit: Archant

The event made regular stops along the way to lay flowers at memorial statues for victims of war and ended when 1,200 additional bikers joined them in Blackheath for a mass cycle to the Cenotaph where wreaths were laid for fallen soldiers, including drummer Lee Rigby.

Debbie Smith cycles the Big battlefield bike run for help for heroes.

Debbie Smith cycles the Big battlefield bike run for help for heroes. - Credit: Archant

“I can’t put into words how amazing the atmosphere was and how draining and painful it was pushing yourself every day to keep going,” she said.

Debbie Smith cycles the Big battlefield bike run for help for heroes.

Debbie Smith cycles the Big battlefield bike run for help for heroes. - Credit: Archant

Much of the cycling was uphill, which to anyone living in the Fens is a distinct disadvantage, and left bike brakes worn where riders sped down after the struggle to the top.

Debbie Smith cycles the Big battlefield bike run for help for heroes.

Debbie Smith cycles the Big battlefield bike run for help for heroes. - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


“Paralympian cyclist John-Allan Butterworth took part and said the route was more like something for elite athletes, well none of us were elite, or even athletes, this was no easy coast,” she said.

By day two Mrs Smith collapsed with serious dehydration and the team doctor urged her to pull out but she said: “There’s no way I was giving up, so after resting and drinking plenty of special fluids I got back on my bike.”

Most Read

“At times people felt like moaning about sore legs, sore backs, but then you saw a soldier pass on a handbike with no arms or no legs and you realised your moaning looked very shallow.

“I cried with pain, I cried with happiness and I cried with emotion. It’s been one of the most amazing experiences of my life,” she said.

Her marathon effort has raised more than £2,500 for Help for Heroes with donations continuing to come in on her donation page www.bemycharity.com/HelpForHeroes. Under the sponsor a friend link look for Debbie Daiblo Smith.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter