August 31, 2008

City Men Complete ‘Ultimate Challenge’

Two city men have completed their 'ultimate challenge' of cycling, kayaking and climbing across Great Britain - and raised pounds10,000 for charity in the process.

Jamie Shewbrook, 34, from Hartley, and Sam Groves, 31, from Mannamead, cycled from John O'Groats to Land's End in two weeks, climbing the highest peaks and paddling the longest lakes in Scotland, England and Wales along the way.

Jamie said: "It's been quite tough. After doing Ben Nevis and Loch Lomond I had problems with my knee and had to go to hospital to get it strapped up, so we only did 28 miles on day five. On day six we rested and didn't do anything.

"We were then two days behind, so It's been a frantic race to catch up."

Putting in 100 miles a day, they reached Land's End on schedule and were greeted by family and friends with a bottle of champagne.

Accompanied by their support team - 67-year-old Terry Birch and 19-year-old Jon Cox in a camper van - Sam and Jamie cycled more than 1,000 miles. They also kayaked more than 40 miles and climbed more than 3,000m to Land's End, raising pounds10,000 for St Luke's Hospice.

The intrepid duo climbed Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain at 1,344m above sea-level, Snowdon - which at 1,085m is the highest mountain in Wales - and England's highest peak, Scafell Pike, at 977m.

They also kayaked across Britain's three largest lakes, Bala Lake, Lake Windermere and Loch Lomond.

On one of the toughest and best days, Jamie and Sam climbed Snowdon, cycled 60 miles and paddled down Bala Lake in winds of up to 50 miles per hour.

"Lake Windermere was one of our biggest highlights," Jamie added.

"We got there at 7am and it was like a millpond. The sun was rising over the mountains, there was no wind and no other people about. It was great."

With only a basic camper van to sleep in, the team relied on the hospitality of sports clubs and leisure centres to get a shower.

Jamie said: "People have been very considerate to us."

(c) 2008 Plymouth Evening Herald, The. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.