Novice cyclist rides 600 miles for children’s hospital

Last updated: Tuesday, 04 July 2023

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A dad has cycled from Margate to Edinburgh to raise money for Evelina London Children’s Charity

Scott Gunn didn’t even own a bike when he thought up the weeklong, 600 mile challenge while travelling by train between the 2 places, and had never been on a road bike.

He has wanted to fundraise for Evelina London since his partner Vicki was pregnant with their second child.

During her 20 week baby scan, the team at Margate hospital said they were worried the baby had a hole in her heart and the outlook was concerning. They were rushed Evelina London – part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ – to have another scan using more advanced equipment.

Scott vividly remembers the anxiety he and Vicki felt waiting for the appointment. They arrived 6 hours early and waited in a café nearby. Thankfully, the scan showed there was nothing to worry about, but Scott was acutely conscious that others weren’t so lucky.

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“I thought that no one in the hospital would have better news than us,” he recalled. “It was such a strange feeling and it chokes me up just thinking about it. I thought then that I wanted to give something back.”

Boe, now 12 years old, was there to cheer Scott off at the start line at Margate harbour on 6 June alongside her brother Rory, 14.

Scott, 39, trained every day for 4 months, but due to bad weather the majority of his training was completed on an inside bike.

“Everything has been a learning curve and I came off my bike twice,” Scott, who lives in Margate, said. “I’ve been lucky as people have given me little pointers like taking 2 water bottles.”

Originally he was planning to avoid London but he decided he wanted to pass by Evelina London during his journey. The first leg was 97.8 miles, which included a pit stop passing by the hospital, and he averaged 75 to 80 miles a day.

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Scott was congratulated by former England football manager Kevin Keegan when he crossed the finish line at Edinburgh castle on Tuesday 13 June. Kevin was due to speak at an event for Scott’s estate agency business the same evening and agreed to arrive early to celebrate his achievement.

Scott said: “I’m overwhelmed by the support I have received from friends, family and even strangers. Watching the donations grow daily has felt very special, and I’m so grateful to every person who has donated their hard earned cash.

“It was a slog in the heat but remembering the reason behind the challenge has made it worthwhile.”

To sponsor Scott, visit Scott's JustGiving fundraising page.

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