AN INSPIRING group of Ayr fundraisers have set themselves the mother of all virtual challenges – by racing across the world in 80 days for a children’s charity.

The community group of around 160 members of all ages and abilities have been out each day running, walking or cycling to complete the 24,901 miles it will take to cover the globe.

The challenge was set up by Whitletts Victoria FC charity arm – Vics in the Community, who wanted to raise funds for Whiteleys Retreat to help the incredible respite facility for children with cancer or other life altering conditions and their families.

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Blair Monaghan, 30, the vice chair of Vics in the Community told the Advertiser: “We had seen other football clubs do challenges during lockdown, so I thought let’s do something the community can get behind.

“I suggested to the chair Jamie Tait about going around the world, I thought if you do it based on the book and the movie, it’s 80 days 311 miles per day.

“At first everyone told me it is not happening, but we are already 2,000 miles ahead after over two weeks of doing the challenge.”

“At first everyone thought we’d struggle to get enough folk to do this, but we set up a Strava group, and I thought if we reached 100 it would be possible. We’ve got 161 signed up now.”

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Blair is hoping to raise £5,000 for Whiteleys Retreat.

Blair added: “I know Maxine and a few others involved with Whiteleys. We are a community club. We do a lot of charity work. It’s an incredible cause, it’s all about them, and helping the kids when they are allowed back.”

As part of the challenge, some players of the clubs Amateur and Junior squads, have been adding their own touch by cycling around Ayrshire’s Junior football grounds.

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Last week club captain Isaac Kerr, Jordan Boyd and Stewart Davidson completed a 100km round trip of famous grounds, including Darvel, Hurlford United, Bonnyton Thistle, Kilmarnock, Irvine Meadow, Irvine Victoria, Troon and Ayr United, starting and finishing at Dam Park.

Each week they will visit other grounds including Kilwinning Rangers, Auchinleck Talbot, and Kello Rovers.

Also joining the group have been people involved with Ayr United, Wossobama Gym, and Ayr Seaforth Running Club.

Blair has been blown away by how the community in Ayr, but the challenge has already reached other parts of the world, with ex-pats in Qatar, Melbourne and Portsmouth joining in on Strava.

He said: “It’s great on Strava, everyone has been giving each other praise, it’s all for a good cause. It’s bringing people together.”