Pippa Middleton bikes across United States for charity

Pippa Middleton, sister of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Pippa Middleton, sister of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Aegon tennis Championships at the Queen's Club in London, Britain on June 10, 2014. Photo Credit: EPA / Andy Rain

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Pippa and James Middleton, the younger sister and brother of England's Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, have embarked on a bicycle ride across the United States to help raise money for a British charity.

On Saturday, reports People magazine, the two Middleton siblings, their friend James Matthews and five others in their team pushed off from Oceanside Pier in northern San Diego County, California, to begin a roughly 3,000-mile, eight-day trek across 12 states to Annapolis, Maryland. They are among the several dozen solo and team riders in the 33rd annual Race Across America charity event.

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Pippa Middleton's team is raising funds for the British Heart Foundation, of which the 30-year-old is an ambassador. In a statement on the foundation's website, she says she "was shocked to learn that nearly three times more women die from coronary heart disease than breast cancer. I'm passionate about raising awareness amongst women of this killer disease and I look forward to working with the BHF to highlight to women the risks of heart disease and, importantly, how they can reduce them."

On her personal fundraising page, justgiving.com/PippaMiddleton, she wrote that she and James Middleton, 27, were aiming to ride 350 to 500 miles daily. Afterward, she wrote, "[W]e will be heading over to Istanbul to take on the Bosphorus Cross-Continental Race. This 6.5 km historical swim crosses two continents, Europe to Asia, across one of the world's busiest shipping lanes."

The latter challenge, she wrote, is to benefit the Michael Matthews Foundation, named for teammate James Matthews' brother, who died descending the summit of Mount Everest. The foundation helps provide education to children globally.

As of Sunday evening, she raised more than $6,500 for both events, according to her page.

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