A SOUTH Tyneside man will jump in the saddle for an emotional fundraising ride in South Africa.
Alan Wears, a stalwart of Jarrow and Hebburn Athletics Club, will swap two legs for a bike when he takes part in the Amashova Durban Classic.
Proceeds from the trip will raise vital cash for St Clare’s Hospice, Jarrow, which now has annual running costs of £2m.
Mr Wears, 55, from Jarrow, will tackle the 65-mile cycle route from Pietermaritzburg City Hall to the Moses Mabhiba Stadium in Durban on October 13, in memory of his parents, Elsie and Ray, who both died of cancer.
He said: “I am a member of Jarrow and Hebburn AC and coach senior athletes at the running club.
“Each year, we do a handicap on Boxing Day, with all the monies from the event donated to St Clare’s.
“I have raised money before for St Clare’s when I ran the Great North Run, but I had to stop running due to injury.
“I have family over in South Africa and when I told them I was going over to visit, they mentioned that they were doing a bike ride and asked if I would like to do it.
“It seemed like an ideal way to continue raising funds for the hospice, so I signed up, there and then.”
Mr Wears, who works for Thermal Resources Management, in Washington, added: “I would like to thank all those people who have sponsored me so far, especially my family and those from Jarrow and Hebburn AC.
“If anyone would like to sponsor me and help raise some money for the hospice, please get in touch.”
Senior hospice fundraiser Vanessa Mustard said: “We were delighted when Alan got in touch to say he was taking part in the race on our behalf.
“It just goes to show how well-loved the hospice is, when we have people like Alan taking on an overseas challenge in South Africa to help raise funds.”
To support Alan Wears, visit his donation page at www.justgiving.com/Alan-Wears, call the hospice on 451 6400, e-mail email@example.com or visit the website www.stclareshospice.co.uk.