Amazing Grace

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Amazing Grace thumbnailRecord-breaking charity fundraiser Grace Smith during her gruelling assault bike challenge on Saturday.

MEMORIES of a much-loved Ballymoney man lived on when his super-fit daughter put her stamina to the ultimate test during  an eight-hour charity challenge on Saturday.
Inspirational personal trainer and gym owner Grace Smith completed 143 gruelling miles -  without a break -on an assault bike  to raise funds for Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Strok.
The amazing challenge was  in memory of her dad David who died at 56 after suffering a heart attack.
Speaking after completing her emotional fundraiser, Grace, 35, said: "After months of training, sacrifices and literally blood, sweat and tears,  I have achieved my goal.
“I set out to push myself; my body and mind to its limits and in the process I unexpectedly healed some of the pain I feel after losing my dad.
"At the end of the eight hours I sobbed; for myself, for a wonderful charity, but most of all Dad, this was for you.
“Thank-you to every single person who has donated and supported me throughout this journey.
“I've lost 11 members of my family to heart-related diseases, so I am acutely aware of how important charities such as Chest Heart and Stroke are to families and the community.
“To my knowledge no-one has ever attempted  a full eight hours on an assault bike."
The static cycle, said to offer one of the toughest work-outs in the world, was set up in Grace's fitness studio, where the challenge took  place.
After the exhausting endurance test, Grace said: "It is a truly horrible machine.
“ I started using it for my own training two years ago when knee surgery forced me to change my training regime to something with less impact on my joints.
“ I use it with my clients in small bursts, including seasoned road cyclists who hate it.
“ I was clocking up one to two hours a day in my own training when I mentioned the idea of an eight-hour cycle to a client. The idea stuck and on Saturday it became a  reality. It was really tough but I have no regrets.
“The main thing was to keep focused, keep aware of my pace and keep going. But most of all to remember why I was doing it."
* If you want to support Grace, who has raised more than 700 for her chosen charity, you can donate via her Just Giving page: www.justgiving.


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