Antonia's Friends have completed the Race Across America in 2019
The ‘Antonia’s Friends’ cycle team have once again completed the Race Across America in memory of Antonia Thomas.
It is the 5th year that a team has raced in memory of Antonia – in 2014 as the ‘Spinhalers’, 2015 as the ‘Ruck and Rollers’ and for the last 3 years as ‘Antonia’s Friends’.
The team navigated the world famous non-stop 3,000-mile cycle race from Oceanside in California to Annapolis in Maryland, and completed the route in 6 days, 18 hours and 5 minutes the fastest ever crossing for an Antonia’s Friends team.
This year eight new riders and support crew came together to both honour Antonia’s memory, but also raise vital funds for the Antonia’s Friends Charitable Foundation.
Antonia died in October 2009, when she was just 10 years old, from a short asthma attack and her death was followed by a huge outpouring of community support in her home town of Corsham in Wiltshire. In memory of Antonia, a sponsored bike ride took place on the weekend of the 5th June, 2010 - the date that would have been Antonia's eleventh birthday. Many riders enjoyed the return 174-mile journey from Heywood Prep school in Corsham, where Antonia was a pupil, to Crickhowell in Mid-Wales.
This original Antonia’s charity ride proved to be the inspiration behind the Race Across America teams competing since 2014, as well as many other amazing charitable efforts by the community, friends and family, that have seen thousands of pounds raised for Asthma related charities.
Asthma UK published a study which concluded that nearly half of asthma-related deaths could be avoided with better routine care. Today, 5.4 million people in the UK are receiving treatment for asthma, every 10 seconds someone is having a potentially life-threatening asthma attack and on average, 3 people die every day through asthma.
We continue to celebrate Antonia’s life and to mark what would have been Antonia’s 20th birthday the Antonia’s Friends Charitable Foundation has now picked up the fundraising baton, to continue a fitting and long-lasting legacy for Antonia.
The Race started on June 15th in Oceanside in California, and the riders and their support team crossed through 12 states and climb over 150,000 feet as they worked together to go from Pacific to Atlantic coast.
The blog below, followed the team in the run up to the race and during the event itself.