GUARDIAN readers are invited to support Chris Hankey’s triathlon challenge in memory of his dad.

William (Ray) Hankey had heart disease, and died in his sleep last September at the age of 61.

His son Chris, 34, from Spencer Street, Barnton, is to compete in the Virgin Active London Triathlon in his memory and to support the British Heart Foundation.

The event takes place in August, and attracts 13,000 participants to the Docklands area.

The triathlon involves swimming, cycling and running, and the cycling route will take competitors via the O2 Arena, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye.

“On the 15th September last year I lost the most important man in my life, my best friend, my rock, my hero, my dad,” said Chris.

“He died too young, and was an amazing father and family man, who was always there for me unconditionally or anybody else he could help.

“My dad died suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep when his heart stopped.

“Nobody had the chance to say goodbye, which is really painful for myself and the rest of the family. He was one of life’s last remaining gentlemen.”

Chris said he was taking part in the triathlon to help make sure more money is available for research into heart disease in the UK and so no-one else has to lose a loved one before their time.

Chris is competing on August 2, has set himself a target of £500, and has set up a just giving page online and a means of donating via text.

“No donation is too small, so please dig deep, and I promise that every mile I do I will be thinking about all the kind people who have made a donation, which will push me even harder towards the finish line,” said Chris.

He thanked everyone who has already supported him, and LA Fitness in Northwich for allowing him to have a collection box in reception.

Anyone wishing to support Chris can donate at, or by text message. For example, to donate £10 text HANK66£10 to 70070.