A pub owner is looking to pay back the children’s hospital which saved his life with a pedal-powered charity effort spanning three countries.

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Aaron Gubb, owner of The Eagle in Great Hockham, is taking a wince-inducing 500-miles in five days cycling challenge to raise money for three charities, including Great Ormond Street Hospital - the cause he credits with him being alive today.

The 33-year-old set off at 3pm yesterday to travel from his Norfolk pub across Belgium and France, before circling back for a well-earned pint before 3pm on Sunday.

Local charities, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) and the East Anglian Air Ambulance are set to benefit, but Mr Gubb said he had gone further afield to pick Great Ormond Street after the part it had played in his life.

“When I was born I was rushed there from Ipswich because of lung problems.

“I don’t know the full details, but I know it was a major operation and they saved my life.

“Hopefully I can raise as much money as possible to pay back what they did for me,” he said.

Like all good ideas, the challenge was dreamt up at the bar, after one of the pub’s regulars laid down the gauntlet.

“A guy who comes in the pub, a local, said we should both do a challenge,” said Mr Gubb.

“I thought it was a good idea and we came up with the bike ride, but then he decided to pull out. I wanted a new challenge though, so I’ve stuck with it and I’m looking forward to it.

“Doing a five-day, 500-mile challenge just seemed to make sense - to do it any other way just didn’t seem to work.”

Mr Gubb, who has run marathons in the past, said he had been in training for the event having not cycled seriously for more than a decade.

Mr Gubb will be joined on the challenge by John Redford, who will follow him in a support vehicle.

To donate to Mr Gubb’s causes, visit The Eagle’s website at www.hockhameagle.com or visit the pub at Harling Road, Great Hockham IP24 1NP.

Are you taking a charity challenge that people should know about? Email reporter Andrew Fitchett on andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk

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