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137 miles, 166 locks - the men kayaking the Grand Union Canal for charity

PUBLISHED: 13:16 15 July 2016 | UPDATED: 13:17 15 July 2016

Grand Union Canal, Milton Keynes South' Phil, Flickr CC 2.0

Grand Union Canal, Milton Keynes South' Phil, Flickr CC 2.0

Archant

Neil Jones and a team of nine plan to get in to two man 18ft kayaks and spend the next four days paddling along the country’s longest canal.

In May of last year after a four year battle with breast cancer Neil Jones, 44, lost his mum Carol.

“Initially mum was given 12 months to live but thanks to advances in treatment we had her for four years and that wouldn’t have happened without charities like Cancer Research UK.”

Having already ran from Leeds to London in an attempt to raise money for Cancer Research UK whilst Carol was receiving treatment, his tragic loss spurred him on to come up with another plan to raise more funds for CRUK.

“There were quite a lot of people last time who wanted to take part but didn’t feel up to running but said they would have cycled it. I then got the idea of kayaking part of the journey along the Grand Union Canal and so Rock (Run, Cycle, Kayak) 2London was born.

“We looked into it and couldn’t see that anyone had ever successfully kayaked the Grand Union Canal before.”

The 220 mile challenge starts in Leeds where Neil and his running partner Chris Lawrence will run the 107 miles to Birmingham which involves running approximately 35 miles a day including crossing the Pennines.

At the same time a team of 25 cyclists will set off from Leeds to cross the Pennines to Salford Keys before cycling back the next day to meet the runners before cycling to London.

From there, Chris, Neil and a team of eight will pile in to two man 18ft kayaks and spend the next four days paddling along the UK’s longest canal.

The team hope to spend between ten and 12 hours paddling the kayaks each day and they have dedicated the last year to training on the canal around Ripon.

For more information on the Rock2London challenge visit www.cancerresearchukcentre.leeds.ac.uk/rock2london

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