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Drs David Llewellyn (left) and Mark Tarrant are preparing to cycle from London to Paris

New Year’s fitness frenzy as pair sign up for cycle challenge

Two researchers from the University of Exeter have made a positive start to 2018 and put their New Year’s resolutions into action as they strive for success in completing an epic 350 mile cycle ride.

Drs Mark Tarrant and David Llewellyn got straight into the saddle following the Christmas festivities as they prepare to cycle London to Paris for the charity Alzheimer’s Society.

Dr Llewellyn knows how tough preparation can be. He had planned to join a team of six dementia researchers on the ride last summer – but had to withdraw after breaking his wrist when he fell off his bike during training.

Dr Llewellyn said: “Cycling from London to Paris was a daunting challenge in the first place, so crashing and breaking my wrist in June didn’t help. Thankfully my friend and colleague Mark has joined me as I take on the challenge again. I’m determined to get to Paris eventually!”

Dr Tarrant said: “So far my longest distance is about 20 miles so I really have my work cut out. I hope people will get behind us and support us, as the money will go towards making a real difference in funding research into dementia – one of the world’s greatest health challenges.”

The pair will embark on their four-day challenge in July this year arriving in Paris and crossing the Tour de France finish on the Champs D'Elysee.

Last year’s Exeter team raised more than £12,000 for Alzheimer’s Society.

Over the spring the pair will build on their training to take on a gruelling 100 miles per day in the saddle for four days straight, to raise money for a cause close to their hearts.

Alzheimer's Society is the UK's leading dementia charity. It provides information and support, funds research, campaigns to improve care and creates lasting change for people affected by dementia.

With someone in the UK developing dementia every three minutes, the need to unite in the fight against dementia has never been more pressing.

Dementia is one of the University of Exeter’s key research focus areas, with outstanding research quality and a growing body of internationally-renowned academics. All the team has received support from Alzheimer’s Society over recent years for their ground-breaking dementia research.

Dr Llewellyn works on lifestyle risk factors in dementia including the role of Vitamin D, and is also working on improving diagnostic methods. Dr Tarrant’s work aims to improve quality of life for people with debilitating conditions.

You can support the pair’s fundraising via Dr Tarrant’s JustGiving page.

Date: 8 January 2018

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