Steve Cram plans African charity ride for the new year

The Northern Echo: Steve Cram (third from left) with charity officials and company representatives Steve Cram (third from left) with charity officials and company representatives

FORMER world 1500 metres champion Steve Cram is preparing to cycle across Kenya’s famous Maasai Land.

He will be joined by 12 other riders, including former Tyne Tees presenter Philippa Tomson, now with Sky News, in an attempt to ride the Kenya Cycle Challenge’s 147km route in four days to raise money for COCO, his international children’s charity .

The ride in January 2014 will cover arduous territory in the legendary Rift Valley, which is famous for its wildlife.

For Jarrow-born Steve it is an opportunity to raise awareness of another cause close to his heart – cycle safety. He is an ambassador for the specialist cycling insurance brand Pedalsafe but is also the co-founder of the Cram-Alert emergency ID system, which is included in the Pedalsafe+ package.

In 2001, his brother Kevin fell while on a training run in Cardiff. Tragically, he fractured his skull and died on the way to hospital. But because he was not carrying any ID it was 48-hours before Kevin’s girlfriend and family were notified.

Determined to prevent other people from experiencing the same harrowing chain of events, Steve devised the Cram-Alert ID system – a bracelet that offers a 24/7 helpline so that the emergency services can immediately identify anyone who has suffered an injury and – crucially – also gives access to their medical records.

COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas) was founded in 2000 after Steve Cram ran South Africa’s famous Comrades Marathon with friends. They raised in excess of £12,000 for children in Liberia and pledged to continue their efforts for many other children across the world. Now based in Newcastle, COCO has raised more than £2.8m for projects across the developing world.

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