MEMORIES of her father will be spurring on Kirsty Mapes when she gets in the saddle for the British Heart Foundation’s Wiltshire Bike Ride in September.

The 24-year-old, of Eldene, will be taking part in the fundraiser on Sunday in memory of her dad Ray, from Park North, who died aged 50 from a heart attack in 2011.

She wants to raise money for the BHF to give something back to the charity, which is working to reduce the risk of heart attacks and to prevent other families going through the same experience.

“I last saw my dad on Father’s Day last year. We held a celebration for him with all the family and he loved his presents,” said Kirsty.

“Three days later, we found out he had died from a heart attack and was found with his dog by his side, after taking him for a walk.

“The whole family were so shocked by his death.

“Since he was diagnosed with diabetes last year, he had turned his life around and lost three stone as a result.

“It was truly heartbreaking for me and my brother and sister to tell our children about his loss.

“We all had such a close bond with him and it has been tough living without him.

“I have chosen to support the BHF because I have seen first-hand how badly heart disease can affect families and I want to help others have a better outcome than my dad had.”

The Wiltshire Bike Ride starts from Seend Lye Recreation Grounds and offers cyclists a choice of either a 28 or 47-mile route, making it perfect for both families and cycling enthusiasts.

Jemma Curran, regional event organiser for the BHF, said: “There’s still time to sign up for the Wiltshire Bike Ride on September 23.

“Kirsty’s story is truly inspirational and I hope more people join her on the cycle so that together, we can help beat heart disease.”

The Wiltshire ride hopes to attract more than 700 cyclists in an attempt to raise as much money as possible to support the nation’s leading heart charity.

Last year it raised £25,000 and this year, it is hoped the event will be bigger and better.

“Despite major advances in heart research, education and care, there is still a huge amount to learn, and a lot of work to be done,” said Jemma.

“Events like this raise vital funds that help the BHF continue their life-saving and life-changing work.”

The entry fee is £15 for adults and £7.50 for children. Registration is available from 8am on the day but at a higher fee. Entry fees help towards the cost of running the event safely, but sponsorship is also needed.

For more information contact the BHF Events team on 0800 169 3672 or visit