INJURED servicemen and veterans were amongst a group of cyclists who endured unrelenting rain and hill climbs as they passed through the region on a fundraising challenge.

The group were taking part in the Tartan Express Hero Ride, which is making its way from Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh to London in six days.

Today was day three of the 440 mile ride (Wednesday, June 4).

They set off from Washington, Tyne and Wear this morning and passed through County Durham and North Yorkshire to Harrogate.

Despite enduring several hours of heavy downpours, the cyclists were in good spirits when they stopped off at Phoenix House recovery centre in Catterick Garrison.

Earlier in the day they had stopped at Shildon Leisure Centre.

Riding alongside wounded servicemen and veterans were members of the public raising money for Help for Heroes.

One of them was Simon MacConachie, general sales manager of Sherwoods Vauxhall dealership.

He said: “The weather was kind to us until we got to Shildon but the less hilly terrain more than made up for the weather; there were a couple of hills in County Durham I didn’t think I would get up.

“Some of the guys who had military training were also the ones with bad injuries. One guy had suffered a motorbike accident and had a lot of surgery on his leg. Despite that he got up the hills no problem.”

The cyclists also included Kelly Bostock, who works at Phoenix House recovery centre.

Once they reach the capital, the riders will be joined by those from other routes and will cycle together on Sunday, June 8 into Horse Guards Palace.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Hero Ride, can do so by texting ‘RIDE’ to 70900 to donate £5 to Help for Heroes. To register interest for future Help for Heroes fundraising events and Hero Ride 2015, please visit: