Hannah tackles London to Brighton Cycle Ride as a tribute to her dad

She was never keen on cycling - but that didn’t deter 23-year-old Hannah Lay from signing up for the London to Brighton bike ride.

A staggering 55 miles and 6hrs 50 minutes later, Hannah was proud to pedal triumphantly across the finish line, having raised more than £1,000 for Bowel & Cancer Research in memory of her dad.

“It was a tough ride,” said the beauty therapist from Chertsey.

“And when they tell you about Ditchling Beacon (248 metres) being a super hard hill, they weren’t joking. It was more like a mountain!”

Hannah chose to support Bowel & Cancer Research because her dad, Terry Lay, lost his three-year battle with bowel cancer in 2015 at the age of 45.

Dad completed the London to Brighton Cycle Ride twice and it was always something he wanted me to do with him.

"But, as everyone knows, I’m not one for exercise. I go to the gym a few times a week and that’s it,” said Hannah.

She and her partner, Sebastien Castello, signed up for the 2019 event in February because it seemed like a good idea.

“We thought we’d have plenty of time to train and we’d be fine."

Then it was cold and raining, and Seb injured his knee. We finally got on the bikes with six weeks to go and the maximum distance we did was 16 miles,” she said.

If anyone asks me to do it again, I’d say ‘absolutely not!’. That’s off the bucket list for sure.

Chief Executive of Bowel & Cancer Research Deborah Gilbert thanked Hannah for her support. “We’re very sad to hear that Terry Lay lost his battle with this terrible disease at such a young age."

"Our mission is to ensure that no one should die of bowel cancer in future and we can only do that with the help of our fantastic fundraisers,” she said.

Anyone who wants to support Hannah can do so at  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hannahlay29