Ilkley businessman's bid to break cycling record for little hearts

Dominic Irvine with Riley Platts and his mum Kathryn Walker

Dominic Irvine with Riley Platts and his mum Kathryn Walker

First published in News
Last updated
Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A businessman, who is embarking on a world record tandem challenge, has met a young heart patient who could benefit from the funds he raises.

Dominic Irvine, who will attempt to break the 48-year-old world record for the fastest tandem ride between Land’s End and John O’Groats, has met three-year-old heart patient Riley Platts with his mum Kathryn and dad Dave, to put into perspective one of the reasons for the challenge.

Riley, from Masefield Road, Guiseley, has undergone a number of operations at Leeds General Infirmary to correct a rare congenital heart defect, truncus arteriosis – where the two main arteries are joined together – and although he is fit and well, will need further operations as he grows older.

Ilkley businessman Dominic attempts the world record on the weekend of May 3 along with British time-trials rider Glenn Longland. The money they raise will go towards Yorkshire-based Heart Research UK’s Helping Little Hearts campaign to help young heart patients recovering from surgery.

Dominic, 46, said: “It will really help me having in my mind someone like Riley to keep me going on the tandem challenge and break the record. I hope the fundraising will also make a difference for Riley and others like him in the future.”

The little boy’s mum, Bradford schoolteacher Kathryn Walker, stressed the importance of more research into heart disease to help children like Riley.

“It would be great if Dominic can break a record that has stood for so many years,” she said. “He’s doing an amazing thing in trying to help children like Riley. We have met many children, even on Riley’s short journey in life, who are going through the same things as him.”

Kathryn, who teaches at Westminster Primary School, said: “For Riley the more research being done the better, as the prognosis is that he will need further surgery at some stage.”

Dominic and Glenn will travel the 832 miles between Land’s End and John O’Groats. To break the 1966 record they will have to do the journey in less than 50 hours, 14 minutes and 25 seconds.

Dominic, managing partner of Ilkley-based Epiphanies, a learning development and leadership consultancy, failed in his attempt to break the record last year, but has been practising on the tandem – built by Orbit of Gargrave near Skipton – and says he is prepared for the challenge.

Barbara Harpham, national director, Heart Research UK, said: “We are delighted that Dominic and Glenn have chosen Heart Research UK and our Helping Little Hearts campaign for this monumental challenge. Adults are offered rehabilitation when they have had heart problems but this rarely happens with children. We want them to be able to do extraordinary things by knowing what exercise to do and how much. Some, like Riley, have been through such a lot. They deserve to have every opportunity to live healthy, happy, longer lives and be as active as possible.”

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