A PENARTH man that has battled asthma his entire life has completed an 86 mile bike ride in aid of charity.
Osian Lewis, 25, completed the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 in torrential rain and wind, and is already looking forward to next year's event.
Osian, a researcher at the National Assembly for Wales and a Plaid parliamentary candidate, has lived with asthma all his life. Unable to leave the house without his inhaler, his condition can be triggered by a range of things, even laughter.
Former Pen-y-Garth pupil Osian said: "I'm proud of myself for finishing. As a child I did no exercise whatsoever because of my asthma and hated every second of PE lessons, so for me to have completed this cycling challenge is a real personal achievement."
Osian joined thousands of other riders when he tackled the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 on Sunday, August 10. Due to the very heavy rain, the route was shortened from 100 miles to 86 miles, which has only added to Osian’s determination to attempt the challenge in full next year.
"I really loved every second of it and I'll definitely be applying to do it again next year so I can improve on my time of 5 hours 43 minutes," he said.
"It was just an unbelievable experience. While I had trained for the distance, I certainly hadn't trained for the hurricane conditions but the weather made it even more of a challenge and even more of an occasion. The people who came to cheer us on really made the event for me and they really did help me over the line, especially towards the end.”
Alongside friend Owain Davies, who took part in the event with him, Osian is still raising money in aid of Asthma UK, the UK’s leading asthma charity which provides support and advice for people with asthma including a helpline staffed by specialist asthma nurses.
Osian added: “The support from Asthma UK was brilliant. The fundraising pack made the process a lot easier and cycling past the Asthma UK gazebos with people cheering me on was amazing. No energy gel could have given me that kind of boost. It was really nice to meet all the other riders on our team at the post-race reception too, and the massage was well-needed.”
Kay Boycott, Chief Executive of Asthma UK, added: “It’s thanks to people like Osian and Owain that we can fund world-leading research to find better treatments and ultimately a cure for asthma. Every ten seconds someone is having a potentially life-threatening asthma attack and three people a day don’t survive, so it’s crucial we invest in revolutionary research and reduce the shockingly high numbers of people dying from asthma. If any other riders are interested in supporting Asthma UK, then we’d love to hear from you. Just log on to asthma.org.uk/Event/ridelondon100."
To support Osian Lewis and Owain Davies as they raise funds in aid of Asthma UK, go to: www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/oodl