A sentimental journey started 11 years ago will end Saturday when Natick resident David Chapin embarks on his annual 25-mile bike ride to benefit the Ron Burton Training Village in Hubbardston.
"It’s getting a little tougher, so this is my last ride, and although it’s hard to stop, my son will take over for me next year," said the 49-year-old Chapin, whose effort is in memory of Burton, the former New England Patriots running back who died in 2003 after a long battle with cancer.
Chapin always appreciated the kindness Burton showed to him as a Pop Warner football player in Framingham. Burton, who founded the program with Patriots teammates Larry Garron and Charlie Long, waived Chapin’s registration fee because his family couldn’t afford it.
Chapin and his son, David Jr., will pedal from Bowditch Field in Framingham to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, starting at 8 a.m.
"I’ve done this for all that Ron Burton was and for what he accomplished," said Chapin, whose son ran the Boston Marathon this year and raised $1,000 for the family’s special cause.
Established in 1985 by Burton and his family, the Village is a 300-acre facility that hosts a summer sports and academic camp for urban youngsters.
Chapin is still accepting pledges and can be reached at 508-740-1948 or 508-315-7324.