Ultra 6 athletes set new world record

DESPITE battling against sweltering conditions , a Yorkshire team running and cycling in aid of our Armed Forces heroes, has crossed the finishing line in Scotland to set a new world record time.
The Ultra 6 Great Britain challenge team, spearheaded by Leeds’s Andy North, has completed their Land’s End to John O’Groats DAILY 100 mile cycle AND marathon effort.

A team of six runners set out on July 14th in Cornwall to raise money for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and the Forces’ Children’s’ Trust.

Three of the team – Andy North, Mick Bowden and Ben Wood – finally crossed the line at 10pm on Saturday night (July 20) at John O’Groats to set a provisional world record time of 6 days, 16hrs 30mins.

They were aided on route by Cpl Andy Reid, formerly of 3 Yorks, who lost three limbs in an explosion in Afghanistan.

Dozens of well-wishers joined them or waved them on their marathon route from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Despite repeatedly running and cycling in temperatures exceeding 30 degrees C, the team has still managed to achieve its goal.

Lead runner Andy North, from Guiseley, Leeds, says:

“We’ve been training for this event for 18 months and while we anticipated it would be tough, no-one could have predicted the roasting temperatures of the past week.

“The 30 degree temperatures have had a massive impact on our resilience and we have been drinking litres of fluids along the way to keep ourselves hydrated and just to make sure we were on target.

“Sleep depravation due to the temperatures was also a huge factor – having a punishing cumulative effect throughout the week. Some nights, after running and cycling all day, we only had 2-4 hours sleep before setting off again.

“Three of our team had to drop out in the final stages thanks to the effects of the heat and fatigue caused by the unprecedented temperatures – but this is in no way detrimental to them. It has taken a superhuman effort to get even to Scotland after a gruelling English leg.

“I was able to bring to bear my experience of running in Spain in high temperatures but heat fatigue affected the whole team.”

The Ultra 6 team that set out from Cornwall comprised Andy North, from Guiseley, Ben Wood, from Keighley, Mike Senior from Harrogate, Mick Bowden, from Boston Spa, Dave Edwards from Calverley and Martin Mansell from Heckmondwike.

Andy North, Ben Wood and Mick Bowden pressed on with the final Scottish leg and crossed the line at John O’Groats despite suffering injuries and chronic heat fatigue.

Andy adds:

“The whole team has performed absolutely brilliantly in very adverse conditions and we are absolutely delighted to set a new world record for this run and cycle discipline over this distance.

“We have been buoyed up on our way by the support of local people who have cheered us on and run parts of the stretch with us in absolutely blistering heat.

“I think at some stage of the route the heat was so intense that we all began to doubt whether we would make Scotland never mind John O’Groats, but through sheer grit and determination, we’re thrilled to have achieved our goal – though we are now utterly exhausted.

“In the final stages, strong wind also became a factor, when we were already tired, as we approached the bleaker parts of Scotland.

“But we must take out hats off to Cpl Andy Reid who has been an absolute ‘rock’ as a guest member and ambassador of the team.

“Andy joined us for the final four days of the challenge and showed great resilience cycling through the heat. His effort has been truly a superhuman one.

“Our goal in all of this was to raise money for those Armed Forces heroes and their families who have been affected by all the conflicts in which Britain has been involved.

“We knew it would be a tall order but this run and world record is dedicated to them, to whom we all owe a huge debt of gratitude. We hope we have been able to help in the smallest way.

“We must also say immense thanks to our and to our support crew, chiropractors and sports therapists without whom none of this would have been possible, especially Jason O’Connor, Claire Smith and Ian Harris.

“Compared to our previous efforts which have included a run and kayak across the English Channel on route from Catterick Garrison to Gibraltar, we thought this would be relatively straightforward.

“But the heat factor ensured that this was far and away the most gruelling endeavour we have ever undertaken and it will stick in our memories for certain. But we made it.”

The marathon effort also received a massive boost thanks to the endorsement of two Olympic gold medal winning cyclists Ed Clancy MBE and Jason Kenny.

Tony Booth, of All Terrain Cycles, at Saltaire, Bradford, provided the high endurance cycles for the multi-day event.

The team has completed the 850 mile trek  from Land’s End to John O’Groats in a provisional world record time of just 6days 16hrs and 30mins.[m9]

In that time they completed 26.2 miles daily and then a further 100 mile cycle on the same day.

Cpl Andy Reid, lost his right leg below the knee, left leg above the knee, and right arm in an EID explosion.

After being flown back to the UK, he astounded people with his recovery by only spending only two weeks in hospital. 

The Soldiers’ Charity, the national charity of the British Army, was instrumental in supporting Andy during his recovery by providing a number of grants to aid his rehabilitation and make adaptations to his home.

Andy North added:

“We are exhilarated to have achieved this effort I will continue to support these two important charities through further efforts in the future. Very many thanks to all who have supported us and sponsored us so far.”


•More details about the event can be found at www.ultra6.org and on twitter@ultra6challenge

Notes to Editor

•More details are available from Andy North on 07718 203 767 or Ben Wood on 07730 503 478.

•For press release details contact Martin Hickes on 0113 2567450.

•For further information on the work of the two charities please visit www.soldierscharity.org andwww.forceschildrenstrust.org