Draft press release – Wallasey (Merseyside) Media – May 2013

WALLASEY BUSINESSMAN SWAPS BUS PASS FOR BIKE IN MEMORY OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Local businessman Paul Ashbury has no plans to use his new bus pass at 65, instead he’ll be getting on his bike to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Paul, from Wallasey, is training for the first ever Marie Cure Cancer Care Etape Mercia, which is being held in August, just three weeks after his 65th birthday. He is looking to raise as much money as possible for this worthwhile cause, in memory of his father Ken Ashbury, his sister Norma Baxter, his mother-in-Law Ann Wilson and two close friends, David Scruton and Guy Walmsley.

An avid fan of cycling, Paul has never undertaken a cycling sportive as long as the 69 mile Etape, but he will be well suited to this event, which is billed as entry level and will welcome 2,500 cyclists to Cheshire from the UK and beyond. Previously a runner, Paul switched to cycling seven years ago due to a recurring knee injury and now cycles at least three times a week.  He is keen to raise as much money as possible in memory of his family and friends, and in tribute to the Marie Curie nurses who helped them.

“I have sadly lost a number of loved ones to cancer; so this is a cause very close to my heart and one I am delighted to support,” says Paul. “I cannot praise the Marie Curie nurses enough, they were amazing, so I urge everyone to take part or support this event in some way. It’s a massive cycling event to come to our region and it has huge fundraising potential.”

Paul is hoping to hit his target time of four hours 30mins, which is riding at just over 15mph. He is fitting his training around his two businesses, Nemesys Internet and Focus on Networking, and his been happy to promote the Etape Mercia through his networking events, combining cycling updates with business banter, as for him the two are interlinked anyway: “I find I can address any business issues very quickly while out on my bike,” he says. “You have a clear head with no other distractions when cycling and it enables you to focus your mind and be quite pragmatic about anything that you need to sort through.”

There are still places available on the Etape Mercia, at www.etapemercia.co.uk. Entry is £63 and there are 400 free places for those who pledge to raise £250 for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Marie Curie provides free hands-on nursing care to people with a terminal illness. Marie Curie Nurses cared for 2,000 terminally ill people across the North West last year and provided over 100,000 hours of free nursing care. The charity also provides vital care and support at the Marie Curie Hospice, Liverpool.

Kathy Parsons, a local Marie Curie Nurse said: “We are very excited to be part of Etape Mercia, and hope that riders in the North West will sign-up and join in this epic cycling adventure. The funds raised through Etape Mercia will help Marie Curie Nurses like me to provide more free hands-on nursing care to local people with a terminal illness in their own home, or at the Marie Curie Hospice, Liverpool.”

TWITTER #bethefirst / @EtapeSeries

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Notes to editors

For further information on the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Mercia race, please contact Ruth Wilson on 07881 022 733 / rw@ruthwilsonpr.co.uk

The Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Mercia is the third in a series of closed road events in the UK, organised by IMG Challenger World. The series already includes Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines in Durham and Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia in Scotland.

Route description:

The Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Mercia is the little brother to the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia, offering a fantastic opportunity for people looking to ride an entry level sportive in a safe, closed road environment in the scenic West Cheshire countryside. The route starts and finishes with a lap of the famous Oulton Park racing circuit, located in Little Budworth (easily accessible from the A54). Initially heading southwest, the route passes through the village of Tarporley and loops around the stunning Beeston Castle – a Medieval Castle on a rocky outcrop from the time of the English Civil War. The course then heads north through the county, passing through Kelsall, Dunham, Simmonds Hill and Kingsley and some stunning countryside on the way. From this point, the route then hits its first uphill through Little Switzerland crossing the Mid Cheshire Ridge, passing through the amazing Delamere Forest and once again to pass Kelsall for the second time, giving some incredible views across the county from the Mid Cheshire Ridge on the way. The route then winds its way back to Oulton Park for a final victory lap before finishing on the circuit’s finish line and the well-deserved medal.

Top Ten Facts about the Etape Mercia…

·       154 x stewards will be attending
·       4 x Feed Stations will be set up
·       14,000L of water will be consumed – enough to fill 7 hot tubs!
·       1,256 x cones will be used
·       1km of barriers will be used
·       200 x spare inner tubes will be on standby
·       2,090 cable ties will be used
·       10:00hrs – time of first cyclist home (expected)
·       13:26hrs – time of last cyclist home (expected)
·       30,000 psi of pressure in cyclists’ tyres – that’s 10 times the pressure at the deepest part of the ocean!

About Marie Curie Cancer Care

Marie Curie Cancer Care is one of the UK’s largest charities. Employing more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, it provided care to more than 35,000 terminally ill patients in the community and in its nine hospices last year and is the largest provider of hospice beds outside the NHS.

To get help from the Marie Curie Nursing Service, talk to your GP, district nurse or discharge nurse. For more information, please visit: www.mariecurie.org.uk.

About IMG Challenger World:

IMG Challenger World owns a wide range of events across triathlon, running, cycling and intelligent sport categories, attracting over 40,000 participants annually in the UK.

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