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Cyclist completes 300 miles in three days for the charity which helped save her brother in law’s life

Virginia Phillips from Whitchurch, Hampshire, has completed a 300-mile cycle in three days to raise funds for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA).

The keen cyclist started her challenge by cycling a route to the coast and back. Battling the heat on one of the hottest days on record in the UK, Virginia then clocked up more miles on the second day, finishing the epic 300-miles on the third day, with a route around Basingstoke.

“The final stretch was most certainly the hardest, I was so tired, and my body was aching. Also having the heat to contend with was incredibly difficult, but in the back of my mind I knew I was raising funds for worthy causes, and the generous donations kept me pushing those pedals,” said Virginia.

The presentation coach chose to raise funds for three charities, Make a Wish, Cardiac Risk in the Young, and also DLRAA – due to a personal connection to the lifesaving service.

“This summer my brother-in-law, Jim, was cycling up a hill in the Peak District when he was involved in a collision with an oncoming motorcyclist who was overtaking a car,” she said.

“The Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance attended him, and It took just 11 minutes to fly him to Royal Stoke University Hospital, the nearest Major Trauma Centre with a helipad,” she added.

Because of this, Virginia set herself the brave challenge to raise money for the vital charity who came to her brother-in-law’s aid, with her company Red Oyster match funding the final total to £3,300.

But after learning that it costs the charity £1,700 for one mission, Jim and his wife donated a further £100 to DLRAA, taking the final total up to £3,400 – the cost of two lifesaving missions.

On behalf of DLRAA, Kerry Wilson added: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Virginia for her fantastic fundraising efforts – it’s an amazing distance to cycle and a great amount raised for our vital charity.

“The money raised will help our service to continue saving lives like Jim’s in the local community and further afield, and we can’t thank her enough.”