Bethnal Green city worker completes London to Brighton bike ride in memory of her aunt who died of a heart attack

Laura at the finish line. Picture: Danny Fitzpatrick /

Laura at the finish line. Picture: Danny Fitzpatrick / - Credit:

A city worker has cycled the London to Brighton bike ride in memory of her aunt who passed away after a sudden heart attack.

Laura Sheehan from Bethnal Green was one of 16,000 British Heart Foundation (BHF) supports who took on the 54 mile challenge on Sunday (June 16) helping the charity raise more than £2million.

After battling torrential rain and 20mph head winds to reach the finish line, Laura said: "Taking part in the London to Brighton bike ride was a really fantastic experience.

"The atmosphere at the finish line was brilliant. I enjoyed every moment - even the hills.

"It was wonderful to have so many supporters there and the camaraderie between the riders was pretty inspiring."

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And it was all in memory of her aunt, Carmel, who died suddenly of a heart attack in her 50s.

Laura said: "She was a very healthy, active person. Her death shocked us all."

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The research analyst marked the tenth anniversary of her aunt's death by taking on the ride for the first time.

The 30-year-old fitness fanatic prepared by cycling in Victoria Park, Epping Forest and at the Lee Valley VeloPark. She is also a member of the social cycling group, Dirty Wknd.

Laura got to the finish line in less than four hours with a few stops en route to take pictures of the scenery.

So far Laura has raised £120 for the charity which has seen riders pedal more than 41 million miles between them and raised over £70 million since the London to Brighton ride began 44 years ago.

The route took participants through south London down into Surrey and Sussex countryside, up Burgess Hill and Ditchling Beacon then down to Brighton's seafront where they were met with cheering and applause from the waiting crowds.

Roshan Teeluck, head of events at the BHF, said: "It's great to see Laura's determination in completing this year's ride.

"Without the dedication of supporters like Laura we wouldn't be able to fund research that will help more than seven million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases."

Laura said: "I'm just proud to join the charity in their mission to beat heartbreak forever."

To register for next year's event visit the British Heart Foundation website.

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