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Gruelling bike ride for Gorleston hospital centre raises £1,500

PUBLISHED: 11:51 24 October 2017

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A man has cycled 89 miles on a gruelling hill challenge to raise money for the Gorleston-based Sandra Champan Centre at the James Paget University Hospital.

Gary Last, 36, raised £1,350 for the centre after wanting to “give something back” as his family relied heavily on the counselling and support provided from the centre after his aunt, Jean Scrivener, died in May last year after suffering from cancer.

After her death, Mr Last was inspired to lose weight and get fit. He joined a Slimming World group and lost five stone in a year, coupled with going out cycling on his bike.

Mr Last entered himself into the Wiggle Exmouth Ex-terminator Sportive bicycle ride which took place on Sunday, October 15.

The course covered 89 miles, with a peak elevation of 905 feet and a total elevation gain of more than 5,500 feet.

Mr Last’s wife, Heidi, planted the seed for him to take on the cycling event. He said: “I thought to myself you not what, I will. So within 48 hours of her suggesting it I had registered onto the ‘Epic’ route. It then dawned on me that a hilly 89 mile bike ride isn’t your average Sunday morning bike ride down the park to feed the ducks, so thought why not try and raise some money for a worthy cause.

“The Sandra Chapman Centre is based at JPH in Gorleston and delivers care and support to patients with malignant and non-malignant conditions and their families.

“They were a great support to both my aunty Jean and her immediate family throughout her long illness before losing her battle on May 1 2016. Aunty Jean was an inspiring fighter, loved a challenge and loved the scenery and coasts of Devon and it is with this in mind I decided to take on the challenge and help to raise funds for the centre to continue to help and support others.”

Mr Last, from Devon, completed the course, in five hours, 51 minutes and 30 seconds, earning the silver award and has raised £1,350 towards the centre’s official charity fund to enhance the provision of services provided.

He said: “The bicycle event is difficult to beat with its numerous tough climbs. It is reflective of a true Devon sportive, with a tough, undulating hilly landscape. The hard work is rewarded with unspoilt sea views, patchwork field views, quiet back roads reflective of the region and raising lots of money for the centre.

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