When Jess Williams decided to take on one of cycling’s biggest challenges, she never imagined she would be helped to the finish line by the police.
The 23-year-old, of High Street, Needingworth, rode 300 miles in under 24 hours from Cambridgeshire to Blyth, near Newcastle, on Saturday (June 21), to raise funds for the Woodlands Cancer Centre at Huntingdon’s Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
She and her dad, Graham, also a keen cyclist, were within touching distance of their destination when their bid to beat the clock was interrupted by the law.
“We got pulled over on the final mile,” said Jess. “It was a Saturday night in Newcastle and it was not far off midnight so I think they were wondering what we were doing.”
Having explained that they were on a charity ride and not far from the finish, the officers’ intervention proved timely.
“They asked where we were going and said we had just missed the turning,” she added. “As you can imagine, at this late stage in the ride we didn’t want to have to cycle any further so were thankful when they said they would escort us to meet my mum in the support vehicle.”
Not only did they provide a police escort, they also donated £10 to the fundraising total, taking it over £1,300.
The challenge had begun at midnight on Friday (June 20) and took 23 hours and 49 minutes, including breaks – 20 hours and 34 minutes of cycling.
Jess said she found inspiration for the toughest sections of the route from two pals who had been diagnosed with cancer.
“The last 50 miles I completed a climb called Crawlyside, which is listed in Britain’s greatest 100 cycling climbs. It was very hard, especially already having 250 miles in my legs.
“I was only too happy to complete this ride in honour of two friends, Christine Goodwin and Kristine Henchley. These two ladies and their ongoing strength got me through the hardest hours of my ride where I had pushed my body beyond exhausted. They are incredible!”
She added: “I have had so much support and followers who have given me encouragement and support. I feel eternally grateful.”
INFORMATION: To support Jess and help raise funds for the Woodlands Cancer Centre and its £800,000 extension, visit www.just giving.com/Jess-Williams1990.