A Victoria University team of cyclists took turns to pedal more than 500 kilometres in 24 hours in the Murray to Moyne Cycle Relay on April 4 and 5, to raise money for Western Health.
The 14-person team of staff, alumni and students dubbed the VU Diamonds faced blustery headwinds and rain to complete the 520 kilometre ride from Echuca to Port Fairy.
Now in its 22nd year, the 2009 event drew 1650 riders in 120 teams from Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. Last year, it raised more than $1.5 million for various health-related charities.
VU engineering lecturer Euan Nichol was the University's organising force.
"It was challenging to say the least," he said. "We left Melbourne at 4.30am on Saturday morning, and then started riding from Echuca at 10.40am. We rode in teams of three or four, day and night for 24 hours, against all kinds of conditions, averaging around 30 kilometres an hour."
The team will donate all money raised to Women in the West Health, an organisation dedicated to improving the health, safety and wellbeing of women in Melbourne's diverse western region through Western Health.
The University's Facilities Department supported the team's transport needs, with vehicles, fuel costs, and bicycle trailer rental. The Office of Community Relations, through Pro-Vice Chancellor Peter Creamer, funded the team's uniforms as well as part of the entry fees.
The team has raised several hundred dollars so far, with more money coming in. Donate to the VU Diamonds Cycling Team's efforts.