The Challenge

Itinerary & Route

 

8 days, 800 miles of some of the country's most breathtaking scenery, taking us from the foot of mighty Ben Nevis, down through the heart of the Lake District, into Snowdonia, across country to Stratford upon Avon to arrive in the Capital to run the London Marathon.

 

Day 1: Climb Ben Nevis & cycle 110 miles

Day 2: Cycle 190 miles

Day 3: Climb Scafell Pike & cycle 80 miles

Day 4: Cycle 120 miles

Day 5: Climb Snowdon & cycle 145 miles

Day 6: Cycle 100 miles

Day 7: Cycle 65 miles

Day 8: Run the London Marathon

 

Day 1: Fort William to Glasgow (Paisley)

 

Climb: Ben Nevis             Cycle: 110miles                 Time Estimate: 12-13 hours

 

Day 1 of our challenge sees us up and raring to go 5am to climb Ben Nevis (mostly) in the dark. We’re hoping to reach the summit by 8.00am and be back in the car park by 10.00am ready to tackle the 110 mile cycle to Paisley. We actually cycled most the same route back in 2010 when we completed Ride Across Britain. However, that was in June and I suspect the April weather may not be as kind to us as we head south over Glen Coe and then hitting the shores of Loch Lomond before cycling through the outskirts of Glasgow, over the Erskine Bridge to Paisley.

 

Day 2: Glasgow (Paisley) to Wast Water


Cycle: 190 miles                Time Estimate: 14-16 hours

 

Day 2 is the BIG one, which sees us cycle 190 miles crossing the border from Scotland into northern England and to the foot of Scafell Pike at Wast Water. Neither of us has ever cycled more than 150 miles before and this promise to be extremely tough, especially after Day 1. We’re hoping to complete the ride in less than 14 hours, but who knows how it will pan out.

Day 3: Wast Water to North Preston

 

Climb: Scafell Pike           Cycle: 80 miles                 Time Estimate: 11-12 hours

 

Up early for the third day in a row as we tackle the hardest of the three national peaks: Scafell Pike. We’re hoping to be back at Wast Water before lunch, before setting off on one of the shorter cycle elements of the challenge to the outskirts of Preston. We will be glad of the shorter cycle as our legs recover from the previous two days’ mileage.

 

Day 4: North Preston to Snowdon

 

Cycle: 120 miles                Time Estimate: 8-9 hours

 

This should hopefully be one of the “easier” days of 8DoM. Our cycle route takes us past Liverpool and Manchester over the river Mersey into Cheshire and past Chester, before heading west into Wales to the base of Snowdon.

Day 5: Snowdon to Stratford-upon-Avon

 

Climb: Snowdon              Cycle: 145 miles           Time Estimate: 14-15 hours

 

Another tough day. Probably one of the toughest, after days 1,2… wait a minute. We will be up and climbing by 6am and after conquering Snowdon we set off east to Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of Shakespeare. On our journey we will pass through Shrewsbury and cycle round the outskirts of Worcester before arriving in Stratford-upon-Avon around dusk.

Day 6: Stratford-upon-Avon to Oxford (Milton Common)

 

Cycle: 100 miles                Time Estimate: 7-8 hours

 

Day 6 affords us our first proper lie-in since the start of the challenge. On the road by 8.30am, our route takes us through the heart of Cotswolds as we head towards Cheltenham in time for lunch. From there we head east to Woodstock and skirt round the north side of city of Oxford before arriving at Milton Common, our final destination for the day.

Day 7: Oxford (Milton Common) to London

 

Cycle: 65 miles  Time Estimate: 4 hours

 

The penultimate day of the challenge and our final day on the bike. The finish line is in sight (at last!), as we head south towards Windsor. Once past Windsor we head west towards Hampton Court, through our old friend Richmond Park, crossing over Putney Bridge and along the Chelsea Embankment to Westminster.

Day 8: The London Marathon

 

Run: 26.2 miles                  Time Estimate: 3 hours

 

The shortest day by far, but probably one of the toughest as we attempt to run the London Marathon (Nick’s first ever marathon) in under 3 hours on VERY weary legs.