Sophie, Countess of Wessex has given a video update of her progress as she continues training for the 445-mile bike ride she is completing for The Duke of Edinburgh’ Award Diamond Challenge.
The Countess, 50, will cycle from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to Buckingham Palace to mark the 60th year of Prince Philip’s eponymous award. She and her team will be setting off on Monday 19th September, hoping to arrive in the capital on Sunday 25th September.
The challenge was announced back in May, but Sophie had hinted at a huge physical event for her during an interview last October.
Sophie said the ride was ‘harder than I thought’ and that there were moments when she thought “what on Earth I have decided to do?”
Currently able to go 60 miles, Sophie said that she ‘would have laughed’ if someone told her she would manage this distance a while ago. HRH will be supported by seven team members as they cycle in a small pelleton (pack). The mother-of-two remarks they are experienced cyclists, unlike herself, and they encourage her, chat with her to help pass the time.
Praising those she rides alongside, Sophie said: “They have been incredible…I could not be doing this now if was not for them.”
The team includes representatives from four of her regiments; RAF Wittering; 5th Battalion the Rifles; Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps and Corps of Army Music.
The challenge was actually the Countess’ idea, to raise funds for her father-in-law’s organisation, now celebrating its 60th year. So far, the Countess’ fund has raised over £65,000. You can support her challenge with a donation here.
Watch her video message below.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) August 4, 2016