A team of dedicated kayakers are to take on an extreme endurance test by racing 125 miles in 24 hours in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care.
Tina (Tee) Barter, 47, of Tostock, and Charles Coldrey, 63, of Bury, have been training in extreme conditions for the gruelling Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race on March 26.
They aim to make £11,000 for the hospice - the amount the charity needs to raise every day to deliver its vital services for people with long-term and life-threatening illnesses.
The non stop paddle through the night in a ‘K2’ starts from Devizes, Wiltshire and finishes at Westminster Bridge, London.
The pair, who are members of Sudbury Canoe Club, have been training since September on the River Stour, River Cam and Great Ouse for the challenge - with productive and eventful results.
Mrs Barter said: “We’ve had two Thames side races and have then paddled from Marlow to Shepperton 26.5 miles in four hours which completed the part of the race we will be doing at night.
“For the night paddling we train every Wednesday night covering 15 miles which has seen us out in all conditions - freezing fog ,torrential rain.
“We had a swan fly into us both one night nearly resulting in a swim in freezing water and in the middle of no where.
“We train every Sunday paddling between 20 to 30 miles.”
She previously completed the challenge with a different partner in 2014 and raised more than £5,000 for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust.
Mrs Barter said: “We missed the tide and it took 38 hours. We’re a lot faster this time and we’re hoping to be finished in a day but you can never tell - you could get a head wind or frozen river.
“I feel we’re going to do a lot better this time than last.”
Mr Coldrey’s wife Sally works at St Nicholas Hospice Care and she is part of the pair’s supporting crew which also includes Mrs Barter’s husband Eliot as well as Jeremy Coldrey and Kyrstie Hall.
The first 52 miles of the race are along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Reading, the next 55 miles are on the River Thames to Teddington.
The final 17 mile section is on the tidal portion of the Thames.
To support them, visit https://www.justgiving.com/Barter-Coldrey/