Ipswich cyclist ‘proud’ to help fight heart disease at iconic charity ride

Andy Long from Ipswich has completed
The British Heart Foundation's London to Brighton Bike Ride 20

Andy Long from Ipswich has completed The British Heart Foundation's London to Brighton Bike Ride 2018 Picture: DANNY FITZPATRICK - Credit: dfphotography.co.uk

An Ipswich man whose father has heart problems completed an iconic cycle ride, helping to raise £3.1m to fight the disease.

Andy Long, 47, was one of around 16,000 cyclists to take part in the British Heart Foundation’s popular London to Brighton Ride.

This year’s event raised more than £3.1m to help fund the charity’s research into heart and circulatory disease – of which Mr Long raised £1,224.

He took on the challenge with four friends because his father has heart problems, had a stent fitted and requires further treatment for a valve problem.

After crossing the finishing line at Brighton’s seafront on Sunday, Mr Long said: “Taking part in the British Heart Foundation’s London to Brighton Bike Ride was such an incredible experience.

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“The atmosphere along the route was fantastic and I’m so proud to have been cycling for the BHF’s vital heart research.

“Knowing that I was raising money for such a great cause really spurred me on to the finish line – even on the steep climb up the dreaded Ditchling Beacon.

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“I’m proud that the money I raised will help make a difference to the seven million people living with heart and circulatory disease in the UK.”

The 43-year-old London to Brighton Bike ride is reported to be Europe’s oldest charity cycling event, which has seen riders notch up more than 41m miles, helping to raise nearly £70m.

Elizabeth Tack, event lead for the bike ride, said: “Without the dedication and commitment of people like Andy, we wouldn’t be able to fund research that has broken new ground, revolutionised treatments and transformed the lives of millions of people in the UK.

“The stories of why our amazing supporters take part never fails to amaze me and it was incredible to see Andy and around 16,000 others take on this iconic challenge, which will help us put the brakes on heart and circulatory disease for good.”

With 16,900 people currently living with the heart and circulatory disease in the Ipswich area, the BHF says “there is still so much more to be done”.

The charity is seeking more cyclists to take part in next year’s ride, which it calls a “fantastic way to support the nation’s heart charity”. A further 80 challenges are also available for people to complete in aid of the BHF.

Visit www.bhf.org.uk/events for more details.

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