subaru national cycle relay raises over ®20,000 so far for japan earthquake appeal

It’s been a gruelling 11-week charitable mission covering over 3,500 miles in 60 legs, and involving 59 Subaru dealers from Inverness to Cornwall.  But on 21 October the Subaru UK National Cycle Relay reached its successful conclusion, having raised over £20,000 so far for people affected by the Japanese tsunami.

Starting from the Midlands back in August, the challenge involved the entire Subaru UK dealer network and took in all four corners of the British Isles.  Employees at each dealership volunteered to cycle a leg between their showroom and the next site in the relay, with distances varying from 15 to a lung-bursting 130 miles. 

Customers showed their generosity by digging deep with sponsorship donations for the cyclists taking part.  Some even took to the saddle and rode a leg of the relay themselves.  People like long-time Carstins Subaru patron, Stuart Birch from Loxley, Warwickshire, who cycled 46 miles.

As you’d expect on such a long and arduous cycling trip involving so many participants, there were stories both of success and woe, of triumph and tears.  Take Aberdeenshire Subaru dealership, Lawrence of Kemnay, for example.  Brand Manager, Scott Taylor, hit an incredible 52mph while riding a downhill section of his relay leg.  Warwickshire-based Unity Subaru’s Matthew Callow had a more torrid time of it, however, catching his wheel on a disused rail track and losing his saddle in the ensuing crash with many miles still to ride.

Lord Edmiston, the chairman of I.M. Group (distributors of Subaru vehicles in the UK), said: “The Cycle Relay has been a huge success.  We wanted to achieve two things with our fund raising efforts; to identify a specific project in Japan that we could support and where there would be real, tangible benefits and secondly, to involve as many of our dealers as possible.  I’m delighted that the vast majority got involved with the project and did their bit for this worthwhile cause.”

The fundraising is set to continue until the middle of December, with prize-draw tickets taking over from charitable cyclists in a bid to bring in the cash.   Showroom visitors can purchase tickets to enter the draw to win an Outback 2.5 SE Lineartronic worth £28,075.  Up for grabs is a new version of the vehicle which acted as a support car throughout the relay, carrying spare cycles and bike parts for participating cyclists.
All donations raised are going to AAR Japan (Association for Aid Relief) where they will pay for mobile clinic services which provide paramedics, nurses and medical supplies to those displaced by the earthquake.  People can also donate via Text Giving.  All you have to do is send a text message to 70070, entering AARJ11 and the amount you wish to donate. 

Subaru UK’s fund raising comes in addition to the 50 million yen (£415,000) donated by Subaru’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, in March.  The company also provided 200 industrial products including generators, light towers and water pumps as part of its donation.

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