Norwich women take on African cycle ride

When Nichola Burr takes part in a gruelling 400km cycle ride across unforgiving African terrain later this year, she will be helped along by the inspiration of her friend who recently died from breast cancer.

The 29-year-old from Postwick will cycle across Kenya in October with her work colleague Maria Wilson, 28, to raise money for cancer victims as part of the Action for Charity's Women V Cancer challenge.

The event will see the pair join 80 other women to cycle over five days from the slopes of Mount Kenya to the shores of Lake Victoria, completing their challenge at Nairobi National Park.

Their aim is to raise money for and awareness of breast cancer, cervical cancer and ovarian cancer. They have to raise a minimum of �2,800 each by August. Miss Burr decided to take part in the event after seeing her good friend, Jason Leech, battle with breast cancer for seven years.

As reported in the Evening News, Mr Leech, 44, lost his brave fight against the disease at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital earlier this month.

Miss Burr, who works at May Gurney in Trowse, near Norwich, said: 'Jay was a very good friend and an inspiration. It's such a good cause and we want to raise as much money as we can. It's quite scary, but we are committed to do it. Neither of us are particularly sporty – I do Zumba and running for general fitness and Maria does a lot of badminton and biking. The training gets more and more intense as it goes on. It's going to be hard, but it will be an awesome experience and it's for such a good cause.'

The pair's training will start in earnest in May, increasing in volume and intensity before the event which starts on October 29.

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In a bid to raise funds, Miss Burr and Miss Wilson, who lives off Rectory Lane in Poringland, have come up with a range of fundraising ideas including a raffle, a sponsored walk and a Zumba-thon.

They also plan to hold a pub quiz, pool competition and a ladies night at the Hog in Armour in Charing Cross, Norwich, where Miss Burr works part-time.

Before he died, Mr Leech, formerly of Aylesbury Close, New Catton, asked for donations at his funeral to go towards supporting Miss Burr and Miss Wilson's cycle ride.

A charity day in honour of Mr Leech's life will also be held at the Brickmakers Pub in Sprowston Road on Easter Bank Holiday Monday. There will be bands and food. Everyone is welcome. Entry costs �2, which all goes to charity.

To sponsor Miss Burr and Miss Wilson, go to or Maria-Wilson0

Are you undertaking a challenge in memory of a loved one? Call Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email