• STV
  • MySTV

Death of young cyclist leads dad and friend on epic journey

British Youth Champion Ben Forsyth, 20, of Musselburgh, died after developing a heart condition.

The father and best friend of a young cyclist who lost his life are taking on an epic endurance challenge in his memory.

Keith Forsyth, 50, and Hamish Carrick, 22, of East Lothian, have embarked on their own version of the National Three Peaks challenge in memory of Keith's son Ben Forsyth who died suddenly at the age of 20 after being diagnosed with a heart condition.

The gruelling journey will see them climb the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales while cycling every mile in between.

It involves 23 miles of walking and over 440 miles of cycling - and the duo are aiming to complete it in under 48 hours.

Snowdon: Keith (R) and Hamish (L) check out the route.
Snowdon: Keith (R) and Hamish (L) check out the route. STV

The challenge is set to raise money for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

"I couldn't have asked for a better son", said Keith.

"He was fantastic. Not just a son, but my best mate.

"We did a lot together. We rode bikes together, raced in teams together, if I wasn't in the pits supporting him, he was in the pits supporting me at races.

"We just had a really special bond."

'He was fantastic. Not just a son, but my best mate.'
Keith Forsyth

Hamish added: "I started riding bikes with Ben years ago.

"I always remember riding in the Lammermuir Hills on these savage, crazy, wintry rides and just going through it together.

"From that it just snowballed into this really good friendship.

"He was really supportive and we were always there for each other, egging each other on and getting a bit competitive up the hills.

"But he was also such a laugh. I just can't think of a time when he wasn't smiling.

"He was always bubbly and fun to be around."

'Always smiling': Ben was a popular student at Edinburgh University.
'Always smiling': Ben was a popular student at Edinburgh University.

Ben, who studied geography at Edinburgh University, was a British Youth Champion cyclist who had won multiple Scottish titles and a British title during his career.

After a screening in 2013 he was diagnosed with an irregularity in his heart.

Two years later he was forced to give up racing after an MRI scan revealed he had arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) - a progressive and incurable disease of the heart muscles.

Through the challenge, Keith and Hamish are hoping to raise enough money to enable CRY to hold a cardiac screening open to the public.

'We go to the dentist every six months, we go to the optician every two years - so why don't we get our hearts checked more regularly?'
Keith Forsyth

Keith said: "Screenings are a life-saving opportunity for people to have their hearts checked.

"Twelve young people in the UK die every week of a sudden cardiac death.

"We go to the dentist every six months, we go to the optician every two years - so why don't we get our hearts checked more regularly?

"Especially for young, sporty people. If you're pushing yourself to the limit, you need to know that your heart is safe to do that."

Cycling: The pair are raising money for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
Cycling: The pair are raising money for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY). STV

Beginning their challenge at 3.30am on Friday, by 6.15am Keith and Hamish had bagged Mount Snowdon and were heading towards the Scafell Pike in the Lake District on two wheels.

Talking about the challenge, Hamish said: "We had a friend run the West Highland Way last year - which I thought was kind of nuts.

"It got me thinking - what else is kind of nuts?

"I did some research and found the Three Peaks Challenge. And then I thought 'we like riding bikes - so let's ride bikes between them'."

Racing: Ben won the British Road Race championships.
Racing: Ben won the British Road Race championships.

With the rain pouring down and hundreds of miles still to cycle, Hamish admitted he initially found the scale of the challenge daunting.

He said: "I did find it scary, but now that we're here it feels good.

"We know why we're doing it and I'll have that in my head the whole time.

"Raising money for CRY and for more cardiac screenings - that's what we're doing it for."

Keith added: "After losing Ben, it's been a year from hell, really.

"But we really want to turn a negative into a positive and raise money for Cardiac Risk in the Young.

"The support from Ben's friends and family has been phenomenal and for every £5000 raised for Ben's memorial fund, I can organise another CRY screening day".

To sponsor Hamish and Keith, click here - and you track their progress here.

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.