Alex Gardiner to tackle Essex 100 ride a year on from heart surgery | Action Medical Research

Cyclist to tackle Essex 100 ride - one year on from heart surgery

10 July 2015

Cycling challenge the Essex 100 ride will take place through the stunning North Essex countryside later this summer and children’s charity Action Medical Research is calling for riders to sign up now for the event on Sunday, 20 September.

The ride offers three options: a Cool 37-mile route for those new to cycling or who haven’t had much time to train; a Classic 68-mile route; or the more challenging Champion option, which covers 104 miles - ideal for experienced sportive riders.

All routes set out from the Weston Homes Community Stadium in Colchester and take in the quiet villages and farmlands of Essex as well as the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with plenty of hills to challenge riders.

This event is part of the charity’s popular RIDE100 series of one-day bike rides that take place in fantastic cycling locations across the UK. All include chip timing, food and water stations, lunch, marshals and mechanics. 

Cyclists participating in the Essex 100 will be raising money to help fund medical research into conditions affecting babies and children. Action Medical Research has been funding medical breakthroughs since it began in 1952. The charity is currently supporting work around childhood cancer, Down syndrome, epilepsy, and cystic fibrosis, as well as some rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children.

Among those taking part in the ride on 20 September is Alex Gardiner, from Tufnell Park, London, who underwent open heart surgery last September. Alex, who is Managing Director of ITV Studios' factual arm Shiver, was determined to give something back after experiencing a brilliant standard of care throughout his ordeal.

For the 50-year-old father-of-two, the Essex 100 ride will mark a major milestone: "It is a great cause but it also really felt like a way of saying one year on: 'I'm back!'" he says.

After three months recuperating after his operation, Alex (pictured above) was determined to get back to full health and will be out training on his bike on Highgate Hill.

"I have chosen Essex because it isn't the hilliest of Action's rides but I need to up my training apart from just cycling to work - I want to do it and feel good afterwards, not just exhausted," he says. "I initially wanted to do the Champion route but have settled for the Classic this year - we'll save the 104 miles for next year!"

To support Alex Gardiner’s fundraising, visit or for more information about the Essex 100 and to register, go to

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For a high-res pic of Alex Gardiner, please click on the link below:

For more information on Action Medical Research, please contact Ellie Evans, Fundraising Communications Officer, on:

T: 01403 327480



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Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity working to save and change children’s lives through medical research. We believe that the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children can be beaten. We have been funding medical breakthroughs since we began in 1952 like the first polio vaccines in the UK, ultrasound in pregnancy and the rubella vaccine – helping to save thousands of children’s lives and change many more.

Just one breakthrough, however small, can mean the world. Charity reg.nos 208701 and SC039284.

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