A couple from Wakefield have successfully completed the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, raising more than £1,000 for Hft, a charity supporting adults with learning disabilities to live the best life possible. This year's RideLondon took place on Sunday 4th August.
Janette, 53, and Graeme Smith, 54, completed the course in under eight hours. The husband and wife team were inspired to take on a fundraising challenge when their son spent some time as a support worker at a specialist autism service that the charity runs in Bradford. After enjoying cycling with friends last August, the pair decided to sign up for the ambitious event.
One year on and Janette and Graeme have successfully conquered the biggest fitness challenge of their lives, which saw them join 25,000 other cyclists in the 100 mile cycle. Starting from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, through the Surrey countryside and finishing back at The Mall in central London, the ride saw Janette travelling through her hometown of Kingston, as well as passing some of the capital's famous landmarks.
Despite some of the route being closed for safety reasons, resulting in a shorter ride than planned, the couple enjoyed their experience.
>>> RideLondon 2020: Ballot entries open for UK's biggest sportive >>>
HR professional Janette and engineer Graeme took on a range of training rides in the run-up to RideLondon, ranging from 49 to 84 miles. The sporty pair, who describe training for the event as a massive learning curve, have also been enjoying regular gym and spin sessions, alongside finding out more about nutrition and Janette even learning how to repair a puncture.
The money raised by Janette and Graeme will be going towards Hft, which offers person-centred learning disability services ranging from residential care to supported employment and supported living at home - from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day.
Reflecting on their achievement, Janette said: "We're really proud to have completed RideLondon. It was a challenge but absolutely worth it, and we're so pleased to be able to contribute to such a worthwhile cause. After learning about Hft through our son, we could see the amazing work that the charity does to support people with learning disabilities and wanted to get involved.
"We're also really grateful to our friends and family who have been so generous in their support of us and the charity."
Emma Macdonald, Hft's Sporting and Challenge Events Manager, said: "We're so grateful to Janette and Graeme for their efforts. Completing a challenge like RideLondon is no mean feat and an incredible way to raise money for Hft, meaning we're able to support people with learning disabilities to live the best life possible."
Hft currently supports more than 2,900 people with learning disabilities across the country. This includes supporting people with learning disabilities to live independently in their own homes, providing employment services to help people develop skills and experience for work and helping people to pursue hobbies, make new friends and get involved in their local communities.
Next year's RideLondon-Surrey 100 will be on Sunday 16 August 2020. For a chance to take part in the UK's biggest sportive, enter the ballot at www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk.