Marathon cycle challenge supports heart patients

Marathon CycleA Funeral Arranger from Wythenshawe Funeral Services cycled 144km in challenging conditions to raise funds for a local charity supporting heart patients.

Keen cyclist Grant Longden braved the cold and rain to visit seven Funeral Partners funeral homes around Manchester, Stockport and Liverpool to support The Ticker Club at Wythenshawe Hospital.

Grant said: “It was a difficult challenge only to be made more challenging by the adverse weather that day. The more it rained, the colder I got, I’ve never been so cold and wet in all my life. When the bad weather came, it was a case of digging in and getting it done.”

Grant’s seven-hour ‘Tour de Partners’, involving climbs of over 1,000m, started at Wythenshawe Funeral Services. He took in GW Turner Funeral Directors in Edgeley, Raymond Massey & Son Funeral Directors in Dukinfield, Michael Kennedy Funeral Services in Blackley, Kavanagh & Coates Funeral Services in Heywood, Howard’s Funeral Directors in Southport and Ainsdale, finishing at Graham J. Clegg Funeral Services in Maghull, Merseyside.

Collecting donations along the way, he hopes to have raised £250 for the charity, which supports those undergoing cardiac procedures at the hospital and is run by ex-patients.

Grant said: “I’ve had great support from Funeral Partners and my colleagues and the teams at all the branches were brilliant and pampered me a bit before sending me back on my way. The next day I wasn’t too sore and felt proud of what I’d accomplished.”

Grant, 47, who joined the team at Wythenshawe Funeral Services last October, got into shape for the ride by cycling to work every day, a round trip of more than 26 miles. He is no stranger to physical challenges, having previously tackled the 12-hour Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, an event he hopes to complete again later this year.

Grant is still collecting sponsorship at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/grantlongden1