The plan was to do the Bob Graham Round, a 65mile mountain run over 42 peaks in the Lake District to be completed within 24 hours. This was to be followed by cycling John O’Groats to Land’s End on a tandem, non stop, a distance of about 874miles. As if this wasn’t enough, the plan was to then complete the Devizes to Westminster Kayak Race, some 125miles of kayaking. [Note from Al: anyone doing even one of these events earns my respect!]
The BG was tough: we hadn’t done enough mountain running, and we suffered for it. The weather was amazing, and this caused a few issues with hydration, but with fantastic support from our runners, and a 4am cheer from Al Humphreys on top of Seat Sandal we made it in a time of 23hrs 45minutes.
After a quick massage, cold bath and feed we jumped in a van and headed to John O’Groats where we started to cycle south, which we would do from Wednesday 8am to Saturday 3pm! This was the toughest section, and we underestimated the amount of rest time we’d need to take off the bike, but again with amazing support riders from Perth to Land’s End we made it in a time of 78hours, just about in one piece.
With only 20 minutes at Land’s End we shot off to Devizes to start the DW kayak race. This was a real race against time, and we arrived with only 15minutes to spare before the race organisers wouldn’t have let us start!
27½ hours of paddling and 30 minutes of sleep later we paddled under Westminster Bridge to rapturous applause and cheers from our supporters. The DW was tough, but again we were cheered on all the way by our support team, encouraging us to keep pushing.
It was an amazing feeling finishing the Epic Tri. 18 months of preparation and a week of intense effort to get there all came out in a burst of emotion. It had been amazingly humbling to see all the support we had from all over the world, and those on the run, bike and kayak.
Ant and I are both rather broken after the Epic, we have both been on a heck of a journey, one we shall always remember, but what a way to spend a week in the UK.