Friends take on coastal cycling challenge for charity close to their hearts

Ben Jackson and David Woodgate will be taking part in the Chase the Rising Sun bike ride event to ra

Ben Jackson and David Woodgate will be taking part in the Chase the Rising Sun bike ride event to raise money in memory of Mr Woodgate's son Harry. Picture: Submitted. - Credit: Archant

Two friends will be taking on a 100 mile cycling challenge to raise money for a charity close to their hearts.

Five years ago David Woodgate’s son Harry died from complications shortly after birth.

It was the motivation to raise money for the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (Sands) that kept Mr Woodgate from pulling out of the Chase the Rising Sun bike ride when his friend Ben Jackson persuaded him to take part.

The 47-year-old, from Wortwell, said: “I thought it was going to be too much of a challenge. Then we decided four weeks ago to do it for a charity and I wanted to do it for Sands.

“After the money kept rolling in I thought ‘gosh I really have to do it’.”

Now in its second year, the Chase the Rising Sun event, organised by Cycle Sportives UK, will see Mr Woodgate and Mr Jackson set off from Hunstanton RNLI station at 9pm on June 11.

They will follow the coastal road through Burnham Market, before passing Sheringham, Cromer, Lowestoft and arriving in Southwold in time for the sunrise at 4.30am.

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Mr Jackson, from Harleston, said he is looking forward to the event.

The 39-year-old said: “We have completed 60 miles and we think we can do it. Fingers crossed it will be a nice night. We have already raised £700 and we would love to get to £1,000.”

Mr Woodgate’s wife Jill said the thought of raising money in memory their son will help her husband complete the challenge.

She said: “The charity took photos of Harry and hand prints and created memories for us. They are always there if you need them. We wanted to give something back to help others who go through the same thing.

“We lost Harry on June 15 and the event is close to that. It will push him because he will be thinking about that.”

To sponsor the duo visit