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White coats get muddy for the British Heart Foundation

On the run. Left to right: Jason Johnson, Steve White, Chris Jackson, Phil Pasdois, Elinor Griffiths, Andy James, Helen Williams, Andrew Newby, Sarah Martin and Cressida Beeching

On the run. Left to right: Jason Johnson, Steve White, Chris Jackson, Phil Pasdois, Elinor Griffiths, Andy James, Helen Williams, Andrew Newby, Sarah Martin and Cressida Beeching Nigel Tailby

Press release issued: 15 January 2008

Researchers from the Bristol Heart Institute donned their lab coats and trainers to launch a new fun run to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

Mud, mud, glorious mud, nothing quite like it for cooling the blood or for beating heart disease. The British Heart Foundation(BHF) introduces a brand new fundraising jog to Bristol, the Hearts First Ashton Court Jog.

On Sunday 9 March the BHF hope people of all ages will relish the thought of a bracing 5km scamper whatever the weather, and a chance to unwind after the stresses of the week.

To launch the opening of registration for the event, a team of 17 brave BHF researchers from Bristol University's Bristol Heart Institute donned their lab coats and trainers muddy to encourage the people of Bristol to join them at the event.

Andrew Newby, British Heart Foundation Professor of Vascular Cell Biology at Bristol University, said: “Bristol researchers use cutting edge science to advance our knowledge of heart disease, and translate this into benefits for today's heart patients and for future generations. This would not be possible without the money raised for BHF in events like this. My colleagues and I will be running together to raise money for the BHF and to build the team spirit that's vital in research.”

The unusual jogging team, from PhD students to Professors, represent just a fraction of the heart research supported by the charity in Bristol. This local funding enables scientists to explore the causes and possible cures for conditions such as heart attack, high blood pressure and dangerous irregular heart rhythms. To continue to fund this life-saving research, British Heart Foundation needs donations from the public.

Mali James, Event Organiser for the BHF, explained: “Heart disease is the nation’s biggest killer. More than one in three deaths are due to heart and circulatory problems - over 208,000 deaths a year in the UK. That’s why we need your help to beat it.

“The Ashton Court Jog is for everyone, regardless of fitness levels. If you like having fun and you don’t mind getting a bit grubby, then this is the event for you. The 5km route is along gravel paths, muddy tracks and bridle ways and participants can set their own pace. We are expecting hundreds of people from all over Bristol, from families and couch potatoes to serious athletes.

The Jog also gives local people an opportunity to experience the stunning surrounds of Ashton Court, as they pass through woodland and alongside the deer park in the grounds. Every single minute of every hour, the British Heart Foundation needs to invest over £95 on life-saving heart research, because every hour of every day 25 people lose their lives to heart and circulatory disease. Your sponsorship will help save lives in the area.”

Registration for the event is now open to participants of all ages, but under-16s must be accompanied by an adult and gain their parents’ consent on their registration form. Advance registration costs £10 for adults and £5 for under 16s. Registration is possible on the day from 9.30am, however, only at the full price of £15 for adults and £5 for under 16s.

To reserve your place or for more information on how you can help, call BHF free on 0800 7836970, email or visit


Further information

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is leading the battle against heart and circulatory disease - the UK’s biggest killer. The Charity is a major funder and authority in cardiovascular research. It plays an important role in funding education, both of the public and of health professionals, and in providing life-saving cardiac equipment and support for rehabilitation and care.

The Bristol Heart Institute consists of over 200 researchers and clinicians in the University of Bristol and Bristol NHS Trusts. Our aims are to improve collaboration between scientists and clinicians within the Institute, and to communicate our research findings to the public.

Please contact Joanne Fryer for further information.
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