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Alice is going the distance for WW1 centenary

13:00 03 June 2014

“I’m determined to do it because it’s such a worthwhile challenge…” Alice FitzHenry

“I’m determined to do it because it’s such a worthwhile challenge…” Alice FitzHenry


Normally, she does not cycle very often.

But now, l6-year-old Alice FitzHenry is hardly out of the saddle as she pedals a punishing 70 miles a week training for a remarkable family challenge to commemorate the centenary of World War One by cycling from Berlin to Paris in six days.

The distance, 1,565 miles, equates to a symbolic mile for every day the war lasted, writes Kingsley Squire.

“True, I don’t cycle very often,” says Alice, a pupil at Axe Valley Community College. “So the training is tough going sometimes. But I am determined to do it because the family are raising money to support such worthy causes.”

Her father, Paul, leader of the all-action FitzHenry family which conquered the English Channel in a relay swim six years ago, is certainly pleased with her.

“She’s training hard even though she’s mixing it with taking her GCSEs,” he said. “But she’s all the more determined to do it, as she missed out on the swim because she was too young.”

The magnificent six family members, including Alice’s 13-year-old cousin, Jasper, a pupil at Sidmouth College, aim to average 280 miles a day riding three two-hour relay stints in pairs.

“It is quite a tough challenge,” says Paul. “But it is one we as a family are proud to undertake to commemorate the centenary in a meaningful way.”

The route, starting at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on July 19 and finishing in the city where the Treaty of Versailles was signed, will encompass the evocative cemeteries and battlefields where so many British soldiers lost their lives in the horrors of trench warfare.

Already, more than £900 has been raised in sponsorship for the Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes and the Soldier’s Charity and more would be most welcome.

For details about donation, go to


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