On Sunday 16th June, almost 15,000 cyclists took part in our flagship cycling event, the London to Brighton Bike ride and raised an incredible £2 million. All the money raised will go towards funding vital research that will help us understand how to prevent, diagnose and treat heart and circulatory diseases, which claims the lives of 170,000 people in the UK each year.
44th year of London to Brighton
This year’s London to Brighton Bike Ride marked 44 years since its inception where elite and novice riders alike have pedalled over 41 million miles between them and raised over £2 million to help us to beat heartbreak forever.
The 54 mile route took participants through the south of the capital, down into the beautiful countryside of Surrey and Sussex, up to the stunning views of Burgess Hill summit and then down to Brighton’s seafront where they were met with a symphony of cheering and applause from the crowds.
The heart of cycling
Every year, there’s always a buzz around the London to Brighton Bike Ride which has seen thousands of participants motivated by their own medical traumas or the illnesses of those they love. This year was no different as riders, who have suffered heart attacks, have children with congenital heart disease or whose best friend is awaiting a heart transplant, saddle up and send their fundraising requests far and wide.
Here at the BHF we’re thrilled to have raised such an outstanding amount and we’re truly grateful to all the BHF champions who took part - whether it’s their first or fortieth time. Their dedication and commitment means we can continue to fund life saving research and make a lasting difference to more than 7 million people living with heart and circulatory diseases in the UK today.
Mark’s London to Brighton story
Amongst the thousands who took part was Mark Sutton, now age 42, who was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease at only 39 years old.
He said: “I have coronary heart disease so it was a no brainer that if I was going to raise money for anyone, it would be the BHF. Throughout my recovery, the BHF were a fantastic support and source of information. From my cardiac rehabilitation sessions to information on their website, they showed me that I wasn’t alone.”
Since his diagnosis, the father-of-two embarked on a whole lifestyle change to inspire his children and determined to raise awareness.
He said: “I did the London to Brighton Bike Ride to raise money, stay fit for my boys. Being healthy for my family has changed my mentality about what it means to be a father. I used to think my role was simply to provide for the family but now I realise that I can’t do that unless I have a healthy lifestyle. What use am I to them without my health?”