Two-day cycle marathon

PUBLISHED: 15:54 19 February 2009 | UPDATED: 08:32 18 June 2010

FORMER Sidbury School student Henry Woodard, 20, cycled from Ipswich to Exeter to raise funds for the Autistic Society, as his brother, Alex Wiles-McConnell, suffers from autism.

FORMER Sidbury School student Henry Woodard, 20, cycled from Ipswich to Exeter to raise funds for the Autistic Society, as his brother, Alex Wiles-McConnell, suffers from autism.Henry, stepson of Mark Murrin, set out on Valentine's Day at 9am with his girlfriend, Jess Manning, and father Norman in the support van.His aim was to complete the 314 mile trek to Exeter by 4pm on the following day."The challenge was a lot harder and longer than I expected," he said. "There were a lot of steep hills coming through Chard!"Hopefully the money raised, around £850, will support respite breaks for families around the country."Day one finished at Chimmor, Oxfordshire, around midnight and, at that stage, Henry did not think he was going to make it!Having had a few hours' sleep in the back of the van, he set off again at 4am,with his next stop being a well earned breakfast break at Newbury services.From there he had problems with his gears and, in a few cases, had to walk up some of the steeper hills.Seeing Devon and riding through his former home of Sidmouth inspired Henry into finishing and by 7pm he had completed the marathon and was met by family members with a bottle of champagne at Exeter Cathedral.Inspired by this endurance event, Henry has now entered the Dartmoor Challenge in June.

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