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Trio to tackle ride of their lives

PUBLISHED: 15:00 30 July 2010 | UPDATED: 22:00 01 August 2010

MANY students are putting their feet up, preparing to enjoy a long and leisurely summer holiday.

But rather than head for the beach or chill out at home, three teenage friends are gearing up for a strenuous charity challenge - by cycling 475 miles to help seriously-ill children.

MANY students are putting their feet up, preparing to enjoy a long and leisurely summer holiday.

But rather than head for the beach or chill out at home, three teenage friends are gearing up for a strenuous charity challenge - by cycling 475 miles to help seriously-ill children.

Seventeen-year-olds Fred Wilson, Craig McRoberts and Evan Smithson are putting in the miles ahead of their sponsored ride, starting in four weeks' time which will take them from England's most westerly point at Land's End to its most easterly point at Ness Point in Lowestoft.

They are doing the ride to raise funds for the Make a Wish Foundation which works to make wishes come true for children and young people suffering from a terminal illness. Their target is £1,500.

The three are all friends from Sir John Leman High School, Beccles; Evan, of Church Lane, Kessingland, is now a sixth former at the school, and Craig, of Sanctuary Close, Kessingland, and Fred, of Guildhall Lane, Wrentham, are students at the East Norfolk Sixth Form College at Gorleston.

Fred said the idea for the ride sprang up one day during a train trip from Norwich to Lowesoft.

“Craig suggested that we do something for charity and we all agreed that it should be something that would be challenging to us,” Fred said.

“We chose the Make a Wish Foundation because we believe that it is a very important and under-appreciated cause that needs more attention.

“We found out about it when a friend of ours performed a charity gig at the Carlton at Pakefield.”

The trio are now in training for their ride, starting on Saturday, August 28. They expect to take eight days, staying at youth hostels along the way, and arriving at Ness Point on Sunday, September 5.

“We're building up our fitness levels, doing some long rides,” Fred said.

Craig added: “We're looking to do between 60 and 90 miles a day...We're all really looking forward to it. The scenery, particularly the first section in the south-west, should be amazing.”

The riders have pledges from friends and relatives, but are also hoping to attract sponsorship or donations from members of the public. To support them, visit: www.justgiving.com/475miles

To find out more about the Make a Wish Foundation, go to: www.make-a-wish.org.uk/

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