Woman sets heart challenge

Fiona Spence, of Wetherby, who raised over �800 for the Heart Foundation last July. (S)
Fiona Spence, of Wetherby, who raised over �800 for the Heart Foundation last July. (S)

Fitness fans are being urged to tackle three mountains and 24 miles in just 12 hours.

Fiona Spence, from Wetherby, rose to the challenge and conquered the Yorkshire Three Peaks last summer to raise money for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) – and now she is urging other walkers to do the same.

The 39-year-old’s efforts raised almost £800 for the BHF, making her one of the top fundraisers for the 2014 event.

She decided to take on the challenge as a thank you to the charity after her father underwent an emergency triple heart bypass.

Fiona said: “It was a massive surprise as he was fit and active and had given no indication of heart problems, despite being diabetic for a number of years.

“Since then he’s also had several smaller procedures to regulate his heart rhythm and resolve other niggles.

“The research BHF funded has contributed to his care and recovery and meant that he has been around to see both myself and my sister marry, enjoy his young grandsons and generally enjoy life.”

Fiona started fundraising early, sending out emails to family, friends and colleagues. She also set up a JustGiving website and linked it to her signature on her email.

Fiona added: “Take any opportunity to stand up and shout about your plans - school events, village socials, work lunches, people in the street who commented on my frequent training runs as I passed them, and ask for donations.”

The gruelling challenge, on July 11, starts in Horton on Ribblesdale and features 3,000ft of climbing, from Pen-y-Ghent to Whernside then on to Ingleborough for the final ascent.

Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer, claiming over 7,000 lives a year in Yorkshire and The Humber.

The BHF funds hundreds of pioneering research projects every year.

Entry to the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge is £35 but this only covers the cost of running the event.

To register ring 0845 130 8663 or visit bhf.org.uk/Y3P or email events@bhf.org.uk