Organisers of one of the toughest mountain bike endurance challenges in South West England are appealing for individuals and teams of mountain bikers to sign up now for the Hearts First South West Randonnee.
This new event is being organised by the British Heart Foundation to raise money to fight heart disease - the UK's biggest killer. Starting from Cannington near Bridgwater in Somerset at 6am on Saturday September 15 , this gruelling off-road endurance event will offer a choice of 65 or 90 mile routes across the challenging terrain of the Quantock Hills and Exmoor.
The circular rides will take in singletrack routes in the glorious West Country, offering spectacular views of Bridgwater Bay. Julie Contreras, BHF Event Organiser, said, "The Hearts First South West Randonnee is a fantastic new event and will be a real test of determination and stamina. This is the ultimate challenge for mountain bikers in the South West and we expect places to fill very quickly so make sure you register today. By taking part you will not only be keeping your heart healthy but also be helping us to continue our life saving work in the South West."
Also supporting the event is Andrew Thompson (41), a keen cyclist and a father of one from Weston Super Mare in Somerset, who had a heart attack aged just 36. It came as a complete shock to his whole family as he was incredibly fit and healthy.
"I began to feel bad one morning when walking to work. I had a pain in my chest, an odd sensation in my right arm and I felt sick. Later that day I visited my GP who told me that I had had a heart attack. Not something I was expecting to hear at all! I was referred to hospital for tests, which showed I had two blocked arteries.
"Within a few months I had a double heart bypass which was a complete success. Thankfully, my fitness levels are now back up to where they were before and my life is back to normal. The whole experience was scary and has made me even more aware of the need to look after myself. Healthy eating and plenty of exercise are a priority for me, as I certainly do not want to experience heart surgery again.
"I believe that without the research of the BHF, I might not be here today. The charity is a pioneer in its field and has contributed to most of the modern techniques available to cardiac patients. I was lucky, but many others aren't. By supporting the BHF you are helping save lives so please do get involved if you can."
Registration is now open online and places are limited to the first 400 riders who apply, so go to www.bhf.org.uk/swr today to register and secure your place. Participants can also set up their own online sponsorship page at this site.
Anyone who requires further information can call free on 0800 169 3672 or email firstname.lastname@example.org