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AUDIO: Cyclist "gutted" after sickness stops challenge

AUDIO: Cyclist "gutted" after sickness stops challenge

Published at 7:35am 20th August 2015. (Updated at 2:26pm 24th August 2015)

Craven amateur cyclist Sam Boatwright has abandoned his attempt to become the fastest person to cycle non-stop from John O'Groats to Land's End.

32-year-old Sam, from Steeton near Skipton, was bidding to beat 44 hours, four minutes and 19 seconds, but extreme sickness forced him to stop after 18 hours.

Known as the 'Epic Runner' after running 50 miles for 50 days around the UK coastline and raising thousands of pounds for Help For Heroes, he's vowed to return next year and have another go - travelling from Land's End to John O'Groats, to take advantage of prevailing winds.

Sam said: "I started being sick after about 12 hours. I tried to carry on, but it was impossible, and after a few hours of utter hell, I finally threw in the towel after 18-and-a-half hours and 250 miles. I'm gutted.

"It was unbelievably difficult. I faced a ferocious headwind - I knew I was going against the wind and that was my choice - but the sickness was what did for me. I'd never experienced anything like that, despite rigorous training. I'd practised very long rides and managing nutrition and thought I had it all under control, but when it mattered, my body protested too much."

Thousands of people have followed Sam's ride on social media.

Commenting on their support, he said: "I would like to thank everyone for all their good wishes, it meant a lot and definitely kept me going for longer. Thank you too for all the donations to Help for Heroes and to my sponsors justteachers, Mewies Solicitors, Watson Buckle, San Angelo's, Skipton Rider Centre, Maxski.net and CTSki."

His mum, Gill Boatwright, said: "Sam is an amazing person for even attempting this and I may be his mum and a little bit biased, but I am very proud of him."

Secondary school teacher and personal trainer Sam has involved his students in his-build up to the record attempt, holding a sponsored spin at St Bede's School in Bradford and a 24-hour spin at Escape gym in Skipton.

Tom Bright, Sam's colleague at St Bede's, said: "Sam is a real inspiration and motivation to everyone. His endurance feats have ignited a spark among the students, helping them to believe that if you put your mind to it and are prepared to work hard, anything is possible."

Sam's preparation included losing two-and-a-half stones in weight and cycling at altitude in the Dolomites.

The current record was set in 2001 by Gethin Butler going from Land's End to John O'Groats.

Sam spoke to Stray FM before starting his challenge: