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Fit for the challenge

University of Leicester Health and Fitness Manager Tina Harkin recently proved how fit she was when she successfully completed the 17-mile High Peak Winter Challenge Walk across Derbyshire ...and when the finish came in sight, she even managed to sprint to the line!

Since her 43-year-old father suffered a heart attack and subsequent quadruple heart bypass, Tina has been a keen supporter of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) who played a valuable part in his recovery. 

To show her dedication to the cause, she organised a team drawn from University of Leicester gym members for the walk on Sunday, November 23, which went through Derbyshire's Peak District from Cromford Meadows near Matlock to Hurdlow. 

She enlisted six friends and colleagues into her Hearts of Gold Team. "The other members of the team were all fit, but I was especially proud of Kirsty Freer, who is four months' pregnant, and Wayne Golby, who had a bad knee. Wayne came along just to support us but kept the whole team motivated by walking at a super pace", she said.    

[Photo: Hearts of Gold team]
Tina Harkin's Hearts of Gold team

Tina specialises in helping the rehabilitation of chronic illness patients through exercise. Said Tina, ďComing from a fit, healthy family my dadís heart attack was a real shock and the BHF played a big part in his recovery. They provided a wide range of information on helping him get back on his feet after he joined a heart support group in the area which aided his mental and physical recovery.

"Iíve done lots of things individually in the past for the BHF but this is the first time Iíve got a team together. It was a great day, we met some super people and morale was high. The weather was beautiful but cold, and the course was a combination of rough terrain with a couple of pretty fierce inclines."

With Tina was her dog, Bliss, a Fox Terrier, who also managed a run to the finish! 

"We are hoping that the final total donated to the British Heart Foundation will be around £500", said Tina.

About the British Heart Foundation:

The BHF is the leading national charity fighting heart and circulatory disease - the UKís biggest killer, which affects one in four men and one in six women from all ages and backgrounds. The BHF funds research, education and life-saving equipment and helps heart patients return to a full and active way of life through a range of supportive activities from printed information to specialist BHF funded nurses and heart support groups.

Many of the BHFís fundraising events revolve around physical activity, allowing everyone to benefit from getting involved. Living with heart disease isnít easy but the BHF aim to make it easier by providing wide range of helpful information and support to aid recovery.

For more information on the BHF call 01623 624 558.

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Last updated: 26 November 2003 12:00
Created by: Barbara Whiteman

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