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Having cycled offroad from the sport’s northern heartland to the Challenge Cup final in each of the last three years, the independent charity’s supporters have raised almost £100,000 on the Ride to Wembley.
But in a year which sees Super League take on a new global identity with the arrival of Toronto Wolfpack, RL Cares is following suit with an amazing North American adventure: the Empire State 500.
On Friday May 1, 20 riders will fly out from Manchester airport bound for Toronto, where they will attend the Super League fixture between the Wolfpack and champions St Helens the following day.
After the game, the riders travel to Niagara Falls, from where they depart on Sunday morning on a 500-mile off-road cycle ride of a lifetime to New York city.
Over the next six days, they will pass through the homelands of the Iroquois nation along the historic Erie Canal and brave the deep forests along the Apalachian trail, home to wild black bears, porcupines, skunk and racoons.
The ride concludes on the afternoon of Friday May 8, when the riders arrive in the evocative Central Park in the heart of Manhattan.
Head of RL Cares Chris Rostron said: “The Empire State 500 is going to be one tough, exciting and unforgettable experience for everyone who takes part.
“Building on the success of Ride to Wembley, we wanted to create a challenge that reflected the pioneering spirit of Rugby League, and the Empire State 500 does just that.
“With Toronto coming into Super League and a New York club set to enter the Championships in the next couple of years, the timing could not be better.
“Although we’re riding on a different continent, the Empire State 500 will share the same three goals as Ride to Wembley: to raise the profile of RL Cares and its work; to give riders and the ride sponsors a positive and enjoyable experience; and to raise as much money as possible for the charity.”
RL Cares has a number of corporate and sponsorship opportunities within the Empire State 500, including the chance to join this fantastic fundraising challenge. If you are interested in supporting the ride, please contact Chris Rostron via firstname.lastname@example.org