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“Cycling at least 150 miles a week.”

In the past month I have been increasing my training for the Straumann Charity Bike ride – we now only have 7 weeks to go and it’s starting to loom large in my life with me spending a considerable amount of time behind my handlebars.

I’m now cycling at least 150 miles a week and spending at least one day each weekend doing some kind of cycling sportive in various parts of the country and to be honest it’s bloomin’ hard work! The dry conditions have been great, but the heat has been a killer – try cycling 100 miles in 30+ degrees of heat and you soon realise that your body will rebel!

Last weekend Heidi O’Carroll and I took part in the Warwick Tempest Sportive – 100 miles and over 6500 feet of climbing. We started at just before 8am and came over the finish line at 5pm… imaging sitting on a bike for your whole working day! You might ask if it’s really necessary to do this much training for a 5-day event and for me the answer is yes… I’m 56 and things don’t recover the way they used to, and I need to condition my body and mind to be prepared. Over the 5-day charity ride we will climb over 30,000 feet – that’s more that the height of Everest – and like a professional mountain climber, it takes practice to condition your body to accept that you are going to push your bike and body up a 14+% hill.

Why am I putting myself though this?

A part of me just loves a challenge and the satisfaction of climbing 8,000 feet in a day and riding a 100 miles is amazing, but the real reason is to raise funds and awareness for The Mouth Cancer Foundation.

Around 6,800 people are diagnosed with mouth cancer each year in the UK. Most cases of mouth cancer were occurring in older adults aged 50 to 74, however we are now seeing an increase of younger adults contracting mouth cancer because of the HPV infection. It’s good news that girls and boys are now to benefit from the HPV immunisation, however as an estimated 80 percent of sexually active people contract HPV at some point in their lives it’s important that the dental profession and the general public are made aware of the implications of mouth cancer. If the condition is diagnosed early, a complete cure is often possible in up to 90% of cases, however, currently over 40% of people diagnosed don’t survive for 5 or more years. If people do survive the devastation to their lives can be horrendous as most need high levels of reconstructive surgery and therapy to learn to talk and eat again.

I think I can go through a bit of discomfort and pain to raise awareness and funds for this well-deserved charity and I would be very grateful for any support, however small you could give me. To donate please visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SusanKarran and thank you for supporting me.

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Sue Karran

Director at Manan & Milkshake Dental Marketing

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