A Salisbury father-of-two is getting ready for one of Europe’s toughest mountain bike races later this year to raise funds for children’s charity Action Medical Research.
Lee Johnson will be heading to Montgenèvre in July for the week-long Alps Epic in a bid to raise thousands of pounds to save and change the lives of sick and disabled babies and children.
Lee, 36, a training delivery manager for Babcock International, will be joined by 23-year-old James Murphy, a fellow member of the Salisbury Road and Mountain Bike Cycling Club, for the Alpine adventure from 3-8 Jul 2017. They’ll be riding between 50km and 70km a day up to 3,400m of climbing a day during the event in the Haute-Alpes region.
Lee was inspired to support Action Medical Research as his youngest son Jamie, was born 5 weeks early, weighing just 3lbs. Now aged nine, Jamie spent three weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit and suffers from some long-term effects like asthma.
“I also ride road bikes as well and I decided to do the Garmin Ride Out in the New Forest in September in aid of Action Medical Research,” he says. “I got chatting to the team from the charity and found out more about them, particularly the research they’re funding into the causes of premature labour, and I felt that they were a great cause to raise money for.”
Completing the Alps Epic is a whole new level for me, although I have done a multiday stage race before it doesn’t compare to this with the amount of climbing we will be doing and knowing that I am doing it for such a good cause will hopefully give be the drive to keep pushing and make to the finish.
For 65 years Action Medical Research has helped pioneer treatments and ways to prevent disease that have benefited millions of people in the UK and across the world. Research they’ve funded has helped to beat polio in the UK, develop ultrasound in pregnancy, fight meningitis and prevent stillbirths.
Action Medical Research is currently funding research into meningitis, Down syndrome, epilepsy and premature birth, as well as some rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children.
Lee, who’s also dad to 13-year-old Leo, will be taking part in the Club La Santa four-stage mountain bike race in Lanzarote in February, the Scott MTB-Marathon Series to prepare for the Alps Epic, on his return from the Alps he will also be taking on a 24 hour solo race, TwentyFour 12 in Plymouth at the end of July. As a former member of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and part of the Army Reserves, he’ll also be representing his unit in the Army Cross-Country Relay Championships next year.
For more information and to support Lee and James’ fundraising please visit action.org.uk/sponsor/leeandjamesalpsepic
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
To download high-res images of Lee Johnson and his son Jamie as a baby, please click on the link below:
To watch a video of Lee in action, check out his YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ0TbIHbVOiaGh7EqGafW2g
You can also read more on his blog at https://leejohnsonmtb.wordpress.com/
For more information on Action Medical Research, please contact Toni Slater, Fundraising Communications Officer (Interim), on:
Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity saving and changing children’s lives through medical research. For 65 years we’ve helped pioneer ways to prevent disease and develop treatments benefiting millions of people. Our research has helped to beat polio in the UK, develop ultrasound, fight meningitis and prevent stillbirths. But we urgently need to develop more new treatments and cures for sick babies and children and we can’t do it without you.
Join our fight for little lives today.
Charity reg. nos 208701 and SC039284.