Wetherby resident Alex Knill has set himself the mammoth challenge of cycling 935 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats today, Monday, to raise money for Heart Research UK.
Alex, 35, a teacher from Wetherby, who teaches at Easingwold School in York, is hoping to raise more than £5,000 for Heart Research UK, a charity that funds research into the prevention and treatment of heart disease.
Alex decided to raise money for the charity after his father Richard, 64, had heart problems. Richard, who had a viral heart infection and collapsed a day before his daughter’s wedding in 2008, had a pacemaker fitted soon after and has since made a full recovery.
Alex said: “I decided to raise money for Heart Research UK because of what happened to my Dad and the effect it had on our family. He has benefited from improved cardiovascular research that would not have been possible without charities like Heart Research UK. I am looking forward to completing the ride knowing that I am supporting a truly worthwhile cause.”
Alex, who is aiming to cycle 134 miles a day and will make the journey alone, has prepared for his fundraising challenge by cycling 40 miles to and from work each day.
Barbara Harpham, National Director of Heart Research UK, said the charity needed more people like Alex, she said: “After what happened to Alex’s dad, this is a cause that is now particularly close to his heart. This is a fantastic fundraiser and it will demand a lot from him, but we have every faith he will complete this cycle challenge and raise a substantial amount of money for Heart Research UK.
Without people like Alex we simply could not continue our pioneering work.”