A SOUTH Lakeland couple is undertaking a year of fundraising to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

Matt Smith's father, 61-year-old Arthur Smith, had to have life saving triple heart bypass surgery after he fell ill when out for a walk.

Along with his girlfriend, Lizzie Whitehead, 28-year-old Matt, from Kendal, decided to take on a different charity challenge for every month in 2017.


"He had always played sport when he was younger, then turned to the gym and golf now he is a little older," said Matt. "But he never had any issues previously which made it all the more shocking, and unusual. It's not always down to your health, which is why it is so important to highlight the dangers of heart disease.

"With this sudden shock to our family, showing how quickly heart disease can turn peoples lives upside down it got me motivated to show my appreciation to such an organisation that works tirelessly everyday to fight heart disease - the British Heart Foundation."

So far the couple have completed three half marathons, one 14 mile race, a Born Survivor course and one full marathon.

This month, the pair will be undertaking Cycle the Miles. This means they will be cycling the distance from Kendal to Paris (569 miles) throughout June.

This will culminate in the last leg of 120 miles being cycled at ASDA in Kendal on June 25.

"We had helped out in fundraising events previously for friends, and we felt that this was a great opportunity to push ourselves to the limits physically," said Matt. "To spread awareness of heart disease and the British Heart Foundation's work."

Following on from the cycle, the couple will undertake the Great North 10K, Man vs Lake Marathon, Total Warrior Lake District, Great North Run, Survival of the Fittest, Mountain Festival 10k and there will also be a charity ball at the Castle Green Hotel on November 25.

The couple have raised £815 so far and have praised 'the generosity of the public'.

"The toughest challenge so far was definitely the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon," he said. "Although we had trained leading up to it, the weather ended up being very hot and the last six miles really took it's toll on everyone running the race.

"That being said, the amazing feeling crossing the line as the public were out supporting us all, made it so satisfying to finish! The harder the race, the higher sense of achievement!"

To donate to the couple's efforts visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fundraisingforhearts