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Andy completes Great Nottingham Bike Ride for Rakemark Respite

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A FATHER-of-two has got back on his bike with his sons by his side to complete a mammoth challenge in a bid to raise money for charity.

Andy Willetts, of Beech Close, Uttoxeter, completed a 50 mile ride in the Great Nottingham Bike Ride, despite the summer sun beating down, to raise £300 for Rakemark Respite, a holiday club for children with special needs and disabilities.

He was joined by his sons Simon and Matt as they completed the ride in four hours and 45 minutes.

They joined 5,000 participants in the 20, 50 or 100 mile ride.

Mr Willetts told The Advertiser: “It went very well and we all did the course together.

“At first I found it hard as it had a steep climb at the beginning and it took a lot of energy out of me. However, after a short break and a drink it was a good ride and very enjoyable.

“It was very warm but there was a nice breeze where we were so it wasn’t too bad.

“After we finished the bike ride we decided we needed a drink and the Castle Rock Brewery in Nottingham had set up a small bar for the event. They had a drink called Saddle Sore which was a charity beer created especially for the day. It went down very nicely.”

The 58-year-old set himself the challenge of completing the ride – one which he had not taken part in for 15 years – as he wanted to complete the race again before his 60th birthday.

Mr Willetts decided he wanted to raise money for Rakemark Respite after attending its charity ball two years ago and was impressed with how the volunteers helped the children with different needs during the school holidays.

He added: “I was hoping to raise a little more for Rakemark Respite but any amount for the charity is a good amount.

“I am still getting more donations coming in at the moment and anyone who would like to donate can still do so.

“I would like to say thank you for all of the donations and support I have been given. I have had quite a lot of people come up to me and wish me luck, I really did get a lot of support.”

Anyone still wanting to sponsor Mr Willetts is asked to visit www.justgiving.com/Andrew-Willetts3 or leave donations in an envelope marked Andrew Willetts Rakemark at St Mary’s the Virgin Church, in Bridge Street.

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