For someone who bought his first bike in April, competing in the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 race on July 30 2017 is certainly a challenge, but this is the attraction for Philip White, Chief Financial Officer, Diaceutics. Spurred on by the determination to raise funds for a charity very close to his heart, Philip will be following the same route taken by the world’s cycling legends at the London 2012 Olympics. The race, which starts in London and winds through leafy Surrey to the world-famous zig-zags of Box Hill, finishes in spectacular style in front of Buckingham Palace.
Philip will be one of 25,000 cyclists taking part in the iconic race, all of them raising money for their chosen cause. Philip hopes to raise £5,000 for Friends of the Cancer Centre, a Northern Ireland charity supporting the Belfast City Hospital Cancer Centre and local people affected by the disease.
Asked why he had suddenly decided to get on his bike, Philip said, “I’d always wanted to help this charity and felt it was my time to step up. When I saw the race advertised I applied on a whim, really. Then it sunk in – and once you’re signed up, it’s final!”
Philip has taken on a demanding training regime to reach peak performance for the big day. He has joined Phoenix Cycling Club in Belfast for the advice, support and camaraderie, so he’ll not be alone as he pedals through the hundreds of miles of preparation. “My training starts with two 35-mile cycles per week, then increases steadily to 50-mile, 100-mile and eventually 150-mile rides in July, so hopefully the stamina and fitness should build up in good time,” says Philip.
A JustGiving account has been set up for donations and Philip welcomes any support, however small. Donations are already coming in – Diaceutics has pledged £500 and his 8-year-old daughter is a keen fundraiser. “Charlotte can’t wait to start knocking on neighbours’ doors and ask them to sponsor me, and she’s also coming up with ideas to raise money at school. But I have a hunch the newly-installed swear box in the Belfast office might produce the best return on investment.”
Philip adds, “Getting the right diagnostic tests to patients at the right time is a big part of what we do at Diaceutics, so it’s great to be able to help people affected by cancer in another way, through cycling.”