Three Cities Cycle Challenge



Julie Slack a 53 year old mother of two from High Peak, Derbyshire, is taking up a challenge and doing the Three Cities Bike Ride through London, Bruges and Amsterdam, in June to raise money for the charity Blood Pressure UK. 

Julie has had first-hand experience of blood pressure as she suffered from the condition during pregnancy. “I have two lovely children, but they were both born early because I had pre-eclampsia and sadly I lost my first child because of this. Once I knew that I was at risk of pre-eclampsia, I bought a blood pressure monitor as even after pregnancy, my blood pressure never returned to normal.” According to statistics, approximately 1 in 10 pregnancies in the UK are complicated by pre-eclampsia.[1]

Initially Julie managed to maintain a healthy blood pressure by dieting and exercising, but when her father-in-law had a severe stroke and died a few years ago, the stress of the situation meant that her blood pressure rocketed. “It went up to 180/110, so I went to the emergency clinic and they put me on medication.” However, Julie didn’t start to feel better immediately, and it was only after several months, including a short stay in hospital, before they managed to reduce her blood pressure from a high of 200/120 to a healthy level. During this time Julie wasn’t able to exercise, but as soon as her doctor said that she could, she signed up for the Three Cities Bike Ride. “I know from personal experience why high blood pressure is called the silent killer, and that’s why it is so important for people to have their blood pressure measured, and why I am raising money for Blood Pressure UK.”

Commenting, Katharine Jenner, Chief Executive of Blood Pressure UK said: “Julia’s story is inspiring; not deterred by personal loss, she is working hard to keep herself healthy, and by fundraising for Blood Pressure UK, is hoping to help others with her kindness and generosity. Cycling is a great way for anyone to reduce their blood pressure, and we are delighted that Julie is fundraising for Blood Pressure UK to help us to raise awareness of the dangers of high blood pressure, including pre-eclampsia, and importantly, to reduce the risk of avoidable strokes and heart attacks.” 

One in three adults in the UK, approximately 16 million people has high blood pressure. A healthy blood pressure is a level of 120/80mmHg or less. The importance of maintaining a healthy blood pressure has been highlighted recently in the results of two studies. The SPRINT study found that lowering systolic blood pressure to 120mm Hg reduces the number of strokes, heart attacks and heart failure, compared to a group whose level was 140mm Hg.[2] 

A recent review of blood pressure clinical trials published in The Lancet found that for every 10 mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure, the risk of major cardiovascular disease events, coronary disease, stroke and heart failure was significantly reduced.[3]


If you would like to support Julie, here is a link to her fundraising page - 

Notes to Editors:

About Blood Pressure UK

Blood Pressure UK is the UK’s leading blood pressure charity working to lower the nation’s blood pressure. The charity provides information and support for people with high blood pressure and raises awareness to prevent the condition. For more information visit the charity’s website at If you have a question about your blood pressure, call 020 7882 6255. Blood Pressure UK is the operating name of the Blood Pressure Association, charity reg. 1058944. 


1 Tommy’s. Pre-eclampsia statistics. Available at: Last accessed May 2016

2 The SPRINT Research Group. A Randomized Trial of Intensive versus Standard Blood-Pressure Control. N Engl J Med 2015; 373:2103-2116.

3 Ettehad D et al Blood pressure lowering for prevention of cardiovascular disease and death: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet 2015;