Three brave paddlers, Beth Goodlad, Mike Martin had and Sam Plummer took on the International Devizes to Westminster 125 mile endurance challenge over the Easter weekend.
All three Leighton competitors raced in K1’s. Both Mike and Beth have competed in the K2 event several times but this was the first time for Sam.
The first 52 miles of the course were along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Reading,
The next 55 miles were on the River Thames to Teddington. The final 17 mile section was on the tidal portion of the Thames finishing opposite the Houses of Parliament.
All three paddlers worked hard across the four days supported by family and friends along the route who supplied them with food and refreshments to keep them going and made running repairs to equipment and bodies.
Sadly Mike Martin retired at 120 miles having lost his sense of balance on the water.
However Beth and Sam battled on the end. Beth completed the full distance with a time of 22 hours 36 minutes and 28 seconds and achieved an amazing second place in the senior women’s race.
Sam proved his ability as a top class athlete contesting for the lead each day with Tom Sharpe from Richmond.
This was the race was one of the closest for years and kept followers and spectators on the edge of their seats. In the end Sam finished in 16 hours 3 minutes and 13 seconds for the 125 miles which was good enough for second.