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  1. ITV Report

Wiltshire pair complete gruelling Epic Tri challenge in just one week

Steve Bush and Mark Ball are members of Devizes Canoe Club but took on running and cycling as well. Credit: The Epic Tri 2019

A carpenter and a teacher from Wiltshire didn't think the notoriously difficult Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race was quite tough enough so decided to combine it with two other challenges - and smashed it.

Steve Bush, who's from Devizes, says "We are kayakers who trained for the 2018 Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race but the weather meant it had to stop at Reading. We deferred our entry for 2019 and in the meantime did some fell running and when we heard about the Epic Tri, we decided to take it on".

Steve and Mark climbed higher than Everest during their fell run. Credit: The Epic Tri 2019

The Epic Tri involves three consecutive challenges: the Bob Graham Round - a 65 mile mountain run over 42 peaks in the Lake District in less than 24 hours - followed by cycling 874 miles from John o’Groats to Land’s End on a tandem, non-stop, in less than 80 hours culminating in the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race - a distance of 125 miles in 24 hours.

It's only been done once before, in 2011, by Bruce Duncan and Ant Emmet.

  • Bob Graham Round (Fell Run) 65-70 miles, 42 peaks in 24 hours
  • John o'Groats to Land's End on a tandem, 874 miles in 80 hours
  • DW Canoe Race, 125 miles in 24 hours
  • Watch "Dynamic Duo take on Triple Challenge"

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Steve Bush and Mark Ball - from Lavington - completed the Epic Tri in 130 hours - an hour and ten minutes faster than the original pair. They say it was extremely tough. Steve says he found the last night on the canal the most difficult.

When the darkness came in I started hallucinating. The lights from the other boats started to strobe and I found it very hard to keep paddling. Once the sunlight kicked in it started to feel easier.

– Steve Bush
Stage two of the challenge - only 874 miles to Land's End. Credit: The Epic Tri 2019

Steve says he was immensely proud to finish but says he's also very proud of their support team, as they wouldn't have been able to do the challenge without them. He says, "I was proud of everyone digging in and getting us to the end".

The pair raised an impressive £7,000 for charity. Mark was collecting for Devizes Canoe Club while Steve was fundraising for Dorothy House. The hospice looked after Steve's 32-year-old cousin at the end of his life a few years ago.

They are now wondering what their next challenge will be.

Steve and Mark are already thinking about their next challenge. Credit: The Epic Tri 2019