Peter Heath founder of Venue Performance is making final preparations as the first day of his 1,000km bike ride in aid of trade charity Hospitality Action approaches.
Heath will set out from his home in Hampshire on Thursday 8 July following a route which will include the highest road points in England, Wales and Scotland.
Heath said: “What started out with me on my bike with a sleeping bag has developed into corporate sponsors, a branded support vehicle, media interest and commercial support. The hospitality industry has been absolutely crushed and yet here’s an incredible example of the sector pulling together.”
Mark Lewis, chief executive at Hospitality Action said: “Through successive lockdowns, Hospitality Action has been helping hospitality households in financial peril due to the pandemic to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. We receive no government funding, and rely on the generosity of our supporters and fundraisers, in order to be able to continue our work – people like Peter Heath. We’re in awe of the challenge Peter has set himself in our honour, and wish him all the very best.”
Heath has secured sponsorship from In2Events, Kershaw Partners, Mission Tea, NFS Technology Group, Sante Patch and Venue Search London as well as donations from colleagues, friends and family. “The support and generosity makes me emotional because it’s very personal. It’s made me more determined to succeed because of the degree of responsibility that comes with it. We’re all doing our bit and this is my bit. I want to make this a success and to make it a success I need to be as fit as possible and dedicate as much time as I can to training.”
Since January 2021, Heath’s training schedule has included 360km each week on his bike with additional gym based strength and resistance training. “I’m acutely aware that this challenge will take me to places I don’t normally go, places of loneliness and pain. Ten days of cycling 100km each day is an enormous physical and mental challenge but when I was considering what to do I knew it had to be significant – a 10km run just wasn’t going to cut it. It’s rewarding to be able to have a focus and I feel very lucky to be able to do something for our industry.”
Heath’s aiming to complete the ride on 19 July, the revised ‘freedom day’ when the UK’s remaining coronavirus restrictions end.
Follow Peter on Instagram @hospitality_bike_ride, on LinkedIn and via his vlog. Donations are very welcome and can be made via: https://umbali.org/challenge/1000km-uk-hospitality-bike-ride. To access a high resolution picture of Peter, please click here.
Katherine and Emily