The Hebridean Cycle Challenge is not far away and gives you the perfect excuse to put work aside for a while and get outside in preparation for the event on 18th June 2016.
The Challenge raises money for nominated local charities. This year the organisers are "thrilled" to continue their support of the ‘Andrew Macleod Memorial Fund’, which raises money for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), a charity which aims to reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death.
Andrew Macleod was a 21 year old trainee marine engineer, in the final year of his studies, when on 21st Oct 2011, he suddenly died on board ship in Hong Kong, from a cardiac condition, of which he had no warning or symptoms whatsoever.
He was subject to regular medical examinations as is a requirement for all merchant seamen, which he passed easily, but unfortunately many cardiac conditions cannot be detected by a stethoscope alone, but require an ‘image’ to be taken, such as an ‘electrocardiogram’ (ECG), or an ‘echocardiogram’ (Echo).
CRY provide the above tests within its mobile screening programme, with a target age group of between 14 & 35 years.
The cost of running a screening session is currently £3,500 per day, and cardiac screening sessions are due to be held in Stornoway on the 2nd & 3rd of September this year, following the success of those held in the past two years, where over 440 eligible people have had their hearts checked.
This has only been possible thanks to support and fundraising by a number of different organisations and individuals, including the committee & volunteers of the Hebridean Cycle Challenge who are supporting this worthy cause for the fourth year in a row.
Screening appointments for the 2016 Stornoway event will become available around mid-August and must be booked online at www.testmyheart.org or via the ‘screening’ section of the CRY website, www.c-r-y.org.uk
The Hebridean Cycle Challenge is being run by the Lewis and Harris Youth Club Association and offers something for everyone above the age of 16. The closing date for entries is 6th June, no late entries will be accepted. The Challenge is a road and mountain bike race with the option of running the off-road section. Competitors can do the challenge solo or in teams of two (changing over at Miavaig). Beginning with a 33.6 mile road cycle from the Creed Enterprise Park outside Stornoway to Miavaig in North Harris, the race continues with a 10.5 mile off road section through the mountains from Miavaig to Bowglas ending with a half mile road section to the finish at the Scaladale Centre, Ardvourlie, North Harris.
For those looking for a personal challenge, there is the Hebridean Charity Cycle, a 21.3 miles non-competitive solo event catering for casual cyclists. The Charity cycle also begins at the Creed Enterprise Park and finishes at the Scaladale Centre. If cycling is not your thing then why not try the Hebridean Charity Walk, a 7.5 mile walk along the scenic, off road, route from Uragha to Scaladale via Maraiag road end.
Race competitors will take off an hour before the Charity cycle so people don’t have to worry about getting in the way of the serious racers. The whole event will finish off at the Scaladale centre with a barbeque and buffet with prize giving before the transport leaves to take those requesting back up to the Creed Enterprise Park.
For those taking part in the competitive cycle the event organisers will transport your MTB bike and your team mate, if required, down to the transition area. Transport will also be provided to take bikes and riders back to the Creed Enterprise Park on request.