A CYCLIST who won three medals at the World Transplant Games earlier this year will swap his saddle for his trainers when competing in the Great North Run.

Simon Ripley, from Darlington, underwent a heart transplant in 2008.

The 29-year-old is taking part in his first Great North Run this weekend, raising money for the Freeman Heart and Lung Transplant Association.

Mr Ripley, who works as a car mechanic, came home with three medals from the transplant games in South Africa in August.

He said: “I am just going to enjoy it and will be happy to finish – between fast walking and running, I am confident I will complete the course.

“I am not really used to running, I am more used to being sat in the saddle of a racing bike. But I am definitely looking forward to the challenge.”

Mr Ripley, who has trained up to five times a week for the challenge, is running with his older brother, Jonathan, and four friends.

To sponsor him, visit justgiving.com/sy-ripley or text GEGS84 and the amount you wish to pledge to 70070.