30 Nov 2015

Cyclist Paul Heath has taken on the mighty Death Valley Challenge, cycling 391km across the desert and raising over £6,000 for us and Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. 

In just five days, Paul rode the dramatic and uninhabitable landscape, which included 11,000ft high mountain ranges, plummeting to 282ft below sea level, and in temperatures ranging from 36°C to -3°C. Located in Eastern California, the valley is the hottest and driest area of North America, and renowned for being home to one of the toughest cycle routes in the world. 

Paul said: “I had been following a rigorous training programme for the ride for over 12 months, spending time in a sauna, and undertaking daily bike rides, but nothing prepares you for Death Valley. I wanted to take on a challenge that tested both body and mind, and Death Valley is renowned for being one of the most gruelling and extreme bike rides in the world. Looking back I absolutely loved it and can’t seem to keep off my bike now that I’m back. It was the hardest and most rewarding challenge I've ever done and lived up to all of the hype and then some!"

“I feel extremely proud to have taken on and beaten Death Valley, proving if you put your mind to something, it can be conquered. To have personally raised over £6,000 for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and London’s Air Ambulance is extremely rewarding, and to know the two charities can undertake further lifesaving air ambulance missions due to my efforts has meant all the pain, grit and determination was worth it.” 

Paul is an employee at life and pensions provider Phoenix Group, which has raised over £280,000 for both charities to date. Together with company matching, its 750 staff members regularly go that extra mile for their chosen charities. 

A spokesperson on behalf of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and London’s Air Ambulance said: “Paul is one of the most extraordinary fundraisers we have met. His selflessness, and willingness to test his body and mind to such an extreme level on behalf of our charities is incredible, and we are humbled by his support and that of his colleagues at Phoenix Group.”

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