IT WAS a tough challenge but thousands got in the saddle to help beat heart disease.
The annual Round the Harbours bike ride for the British Heart Foundation yesterday was a huge success.
There were four starting points – Fareham, Gosport, Havant and Southsea.
Riders could go as far as they liked and many undertook the gruelling 30-mile round which meant a steep climb over Portsdown Hill.
Sisters Kellie and Samantha Wain, of Owlesbury Grove, Leigh Park, were amazed at the speed they did it in.
Samantha, a 23-year-old care assistant, said: ‘We did it because we really wanted to make a difference to the lives of people affected by heart disease. Between us we raised around £250 which we were pleased with.
‘But we were really happy that we did it in a good time.
‘We were aiming to complete it in four to five hours but we ended up doing it a lot faster – three-and-a-half hours.
‘The views were really good as we went round and the hardest part was Portsdown Hill. It’s so steep!’
Around 1,300 people took part.
Organisers hope to reach £60,000, beating the previous £50,000 record from last year.
Regional fundraiser Adam Brockett said: ‘It’s been a brilliant day.
‘The weather held the whole time and the last ones finished off around 4pm.
‘They were mainly families with young children.
‘That’s the great thing about Round the Harbours. It’s not a race, you can take it at your own pace. Some people see it as a morning bike ride and others take the whole day to enjoy it as a family. We want to promote people having healthy hearts by getting fit in a fun way.’
This year was the 16th Round the Harbours event. It is open to people of all cycling abilities – one man even took part on roller blades.
Donate at bhf.org.uk.