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Man cycles 100 miles from Barry to Tenby for autism charity

A MAN from Barry who overcame his own health issues to cycle 100 miles has smashed it.

Thirty-nine-year-old Anthony Claypole recently cycled 100 miles from Barry to Tenby to raise money for National Autistic Society, inspired by his autistic son and autistic nephew.

It was the first time he has cycled a distance in the triple digits, with him taking up cycling earlier this year to help combat his myocarditis (inflammation of the heart).

The intense challenge has seen him raise more than double his target amount.

When Anthony Claypole was diagnosed with inflammation of the heart, he was told it was untreatable.

After carrying out his own research the father-of-five who lives in Barry took up a healthier lifestyle which includes juicing and regular cycling.

On Sunday, June 6, he set a new personal record and cycled 100 miles from Barry to Tenby in six hours and 39 minutes – despite his SatNav claiming it would be a nine-hour journey.

“I’m absolutely buzzing,” said Mr Claypole.

“I can’t believe I did it in that time – I was aiming to complete it in eight hours. I’m so glad I did it – it’s been life-changing.

“I knew there was no way I was going to fail – with Leo and Archie on my mind throughout – but it wasn’t easy.

“When you hit that wall, you just smash it down and crack on – it’s very mind over matter with these things.”

Mr Claypole hit the wall towards the end of his journey – when cycling over ‘relentless’ hills for a stretch of four and a half miles, but he ‘dug deep and powered on’.

“My whole body was in agony – my arms ached, my back hurt, my calves felt like they were going to explode,” said Mr Claypole.

“The car behind me advertised what I was doing and why and hundreds of people beeped, or waved, or cheered as I cycled past.

“It was really uplifting and the support I had was unbelievable.”

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He added that some people even approached him when he took breaks to drink water or protein shakes and gave cash donations.

The challenge was to raise money for National Autistic Society – with Mr Claypole hoping to raise £1,000 for the charity.

He’s raised more than £2,100 with donations still coming in – anybody wishing to donate through his JustGiving page can at https://bit.ly/3o9cpCk

Throughout his journey he was followed by a car – featuring a logo by CEG Graphics who helped sponsor the endeavour – which has his partner Jodie and their seven-year-old son Evan as passengers.

“I said to Evan: Remember this moment for the rest of your life’,” added Mr Claypole.

“If anybody ever tells you that you can’t do something remember that you can. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t.”

You can see more photos and videos of the 100 mile challenge via the Facebook page ‘Ants 100 mile bike ride for autism – Barry to Tenby’

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