Some people might think that major heart surgery would put an end to living life to the full, but Inverness man Doug Booth is determined to prove this certainly isn’t the case.
After having a quintuple heart bypass in 2018, he will be returning to the gruelling Etape Loch Ness in April for the second time since the operation.
The event is one of Scotland’s few closed roads sportives and takes in 66 miles of the stunning 360? Loch Ness route.
It also features a timed ‘King of the Mountain’ stage, with a 4.8-mile climb gaining 380m in height with a gradient reaching 12% at times.
He explained: “Having my heart attack and operation has made me determined to set myself goals to prove that I can still do things.
“Suffering from a heart attack came as a real shock to me as I was fit and healthy right until it happened, but they run in my family so in my case it was hereditary.
“I believe there is no point moping around about things like this and you have to keep going.”
Doug, who works offshore, bought his first road bike five months before the 2019 event and successfully completed the course.
His chosen charity, The British Heart Foundation, means a lot to him not only because the illness runs in his family, but also due to the loss of a close friend.
Doug who celebrated his 50th birthday in October 2019, is a member of the Moray Firth Cycling Club and completes 45-50-mile cycles with the group on a regular basis.
During the bad weather, Doug has an indoor bike to continue his training regime and hopes to break the three-hour mark in the 2020 event.
“Having my heart attack was a real shock and gives me the motivation to get out on my bike.”
Budding cyclists are invited to register for some of the few remaining places in the 2020 Etape Loch Ness, in return for a pledge to raise at least £150 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Cyclists who have already entered can also opt to raise money for charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support by creating a fundraising page on Just Giving.