Ark Sponsors the Race Across America for Asthma UK by Huw Owen by Ark Data Centres, 22nd September 2014

In the UK somebody is hospitalised by Asthma every eight minutes. Three of these incidents will result in death.

The thing with statistics is they’re easily ignored when they don’t directly affect you, it’s a whole different ball game when they do.

On the 17th October 2009, our Chairman Jeff Thomas lost his beautiful daughter to asthma. Although Antonia had experienced mild asthma in the past, she’d never had an attack before. Despite the paramedics best efforts to resuscitate her, she was pronounced dead upon arrival at hospital.

Antonia was just ten years old.

Part of our culture at Ark includes the support of many worthy causes but it’s safe to say, this one in particular is close to our heart.

This month, we’re proud and delighted to be sponsoring The London Pride Spinhalers team, who are about to undertake The Race Across America (RAAM) and we’d love your support.

What is RAAM?

It’s a 3,000 mile cycle race from California to Maryland over the Rocky and Applalacia mountains to raise funds for Asthma UK…..and it’s going to hurt.

RAAM is one of the most respected endurance events in the world. It is broadly regarded as the pinnacle of athletic achievement not only amongst the cycling fraternity but in the wider sporting community.

It all began in 1982 when four individuals were televised as they raced from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles to the Empire State Building in New York City. It naturally captivated the public’s imagination and became an annual event in the sporting calendar. A decade later, more teams were added and allowed to race in ‘relay’ which boosted its popularity by making it accessible to almost any reasonably fit cyclist. Well in theory anyway.

33 years on, it is still regarded as one of the toughest, most gruelling endurance events in sport.

Who we’re sponsoring

The Spinhalers team was originally formed 5 years ago by various associations and friendships with one common concern, to raise funds and awareness for Asthma UK.

The riders include John Hall (Captain and ex-Bath Rugby player), Sir James Fuller, Martyn Grant and Dave Shephard. Click here to learn about the team.

They will be accompanied by a team of 13 support crew consisting of former Bath Rugby players and local business people in Corsham. Our Chairman Jeff will form part of the support team as a driver and navigator (He’s even undergone camera training in the last week, so the whole of the event is captured).

The team comprises of some pretty big characters, so the footage is likely to be entertaining. The riders and crew will be actively tweeting their progress which we’ll be sharing over the course of the race to keep you updated and hopefully encourage you to put your hand in your pocket.

What you need to do

The ultimate challenge is to live in a world where asthma is no longer a daily battle and no one dies from the condition. Asthma UK is working to make this happen through world-leading research, award-winning information and services, and life-changing campaigns.

So, dig down the side of the sofa or write a cheque so big that it will make your pocket wince, either works for us as long as you donate.

Please join us in supporting Jeff and the Spinhalers team by getting behind this amazing cause.

You can donate by clicking here.

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