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Porterbrook team prepare to ride from Derby to London – ahead of gruelling charity challenge

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A team of hardy employees from Derby are getting ready to cycle 135 miles to London… as preparation for an even more gruelling endurance race this summer.

Four staff members from Porterbrook Train Leasing Company will be riding from their Derby headquarters to the firm’s office near St Pancras on Saturday, 7 May, as part of their training for Race the Sun Brecon Beacons in aid of children’s charity Action Medical Research.

The epic event on 25 June sees teams of four cycle 45 miles, climb Pen y Fan (2,907ft) and canoe 3km across Pontsticill Reservoir, starting at sunrise and finishing by sunset - racing the sun!

Fleet Director Neil Foster, who will be taking on the challenge with Fiona Malcolm, Stephen McGurk and Shane Duffy, said the tough training ride would give them a good idea of the challenge awaiting them in the Brecon Beacons.

“We climbed the Three Peaks in 2015 for Railway Children, the rail industry charity, and we got the bug for doing another challenge,” he says. “We’ve done a few smaller walks and rides but we thought that riding between Porterbrook’s offices in Derby and London was something a bit different and would be a great way to prepare. We are going to try to do it all in one go and we expect it will take about 14 hours - a few other people have even been persuaded to join us so it should be a good fundraiser in itself!”

With the help of its supporters, Action Medical Research has played a significant role in many medical breakthroughs since it began in 1952, including the development of the first UK polio vaccines and the use of ultrasound in pregnancy.

It is currently funding research into meningitis, Down syndrome, epilepsy and premature birth, as well as some rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children.

“Initially we signed up because we liked the sound of the Race the Sun challenge but the more we’ve learned about Action Medical Research, the more we’re determined to raise as much as we can,” adds Neil, whose team, dubbed The Porterbrook Express, aims to raise £2,000.

“Hearing about the range of research they fund at Action has really driven our fundraising – and with Porterbrook offering to match what we raise up to £1,000, we’re pretty confident that we can meet our target and hopefully better it.”

To support their fundraising efforts, please visit or to find out more about the Race the Sun challenge then head to

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For high-res images of the Porterbrook team, please click on the links below (pictured from left: Fiona Malcolm, Neil Foster, Shane Duffy and Stephen McGurk):



For more information on Action Medical Research, please contact Ellie Evans, Fundraising Communications Officer, on:

T 01403 327480



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Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity saving and changing children’s lives through medical research. For more than 60 years we’ve helped pioneer ways to prevent disease and develop treatments benefiting millions of people. Our research has helped to beat polio in the UK, develop ultrasound, fight meningitis and prevent stillbirths. But we urgently need to develop more new treatments and cures for sick babies and children and we can’t do it without you.

Join our fight for little lives today.

Charity reg. nos 208701 and SC039284.