This isn’t a gentle pedal but a race against time. This six-day challenge is a race against time for the cyclists and a race against the spread of HIV/AIDS for many more people in South Africa.

The endurance road cycle race will take place from 22 – 27 June. Starting from Land’s End the cyclists will travel appromately 145 miles a day for the six-day endurance test.

The Race Against Time is not just the name of the cycle race but reflects the urgency of the situation in South Africa of HIV/AIDS. The need is enormous not only for those who are already affected by the virus but those who may be protected from it.

This year’s Race Against Time team is now complete with 16 cyclists signed up and training hard. The riders are from all over the UK with 6 of the team members coming from Edinburgh. This year two of the team are women; team details may be seen here.

Although the team is full for this year, they will be open for applications for the 2017 race in October. Anyone over 18 is eligible to apply, although the youngest team member so far was 34 and the oldest 70. The registration fee for the race was £250.

The endurance race raises funds for the Bishop Simeon Trust (BST) which funds HIV/AIDS, development and education projects in South Africa. The Trust works in partnership with South African communities and is making a huge difference to the lives of thousands of people.

Due to the sponsorship by Sporting Bet, online bookmakers, every single penny of the money raised through The Race Against Time goes to community HIV/AIDS projects, which are improving the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS – especially children.

The race organisers intend to raise at least £20,000 all for the worst affected HIV/AIDS victims in South Africa, particularly orphans and vulnerable children. It is thought that around a million children are now orphans due to the AIDS pandemic.

So far, almost 450,000 people have died from AIDS-related illnesses in South Africa, and 5.5 million people are thought to be infected, with this figure constantly increasing. In some areas up to 50% of the population are said to be infected and it’s estimated that 20% -25% of the entire adult population are infected.