Two Devon men are gearing up for the adventure of their lives
later this month, when they tackle the world's longest annual canoe
race, in a bid to raise funds for charity.
James Aven, a Manager with the Dartmoor National Park Authority
and his friend, Tim Watson a GP at Okehampton Surgery, are taking
part in the Yukon River Quest, an annual 460 mile race in Canada,
to raise funds for The Prostate Cancer Charity.
The race, widely recognised as one of the toughest adventure
ultra-marathon events in the world, has this year attracted 74
teams and around 250 participants from 10
countries. Except for two rest stops, paddlers race non-stop
over 460 miles of unspoiled wilderness on the historic route
of the Klondike gold seekers from Whitehorse to Dawson
City in the Yukon Territory of North West Canada. The brave duo
will set off on 29 June and hope to reach the finish line three
The race is a first for both James and Tim, both of whom had
barely put paddle to water before making the brave decision to take
part. Since then the pair have been training hard, paddling up and
down the Dart, the Tamar and Exeter Ship Canal in preparation.
Prostate cancer is an issue that is close to both men. The pair
decided to take on the Yukon River Quest to raise funds and
awareness for the Charity after James' father, Keith, died from the
disease last year. As a GP, Tim has also seen some of his patients
affected by the most common cancer in men.
James said: "This is going to be an enormous challenge but one
we're both really looking forward to. We're a little anxious but
very excited to be taking part and just hope that all the training
will pay off. We successfully completed the Devizes to Westminster
Race at Easter which is the World's longest non-stop canoeing race
at 125 miles but nothing can really prepare you for the challenge
that awaits us in Canada. This is a great event and Tim and I are
delighted to be able to use it to raise awareness and much needed
money to help the fight against prostate cancer."
Mark Bishop, Director of Fundraising for The Prostate Cancer
Charity said: "I'm reliably informed that the Yukon River Quest is
one of the toughest events on the planet. We're amazed and
incredibly grateful that James and Tim have decided to take on the
ultimate adventure to help raise funds for our work. We'll be
sending them good vibes and hoping that they don't get stuck
without a paddle when they take part in their brave quest."
Every year, 37,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the
UK - and it is a disease which kills one man every hour. The
Prostate Cancer Charity fights prostate cancer on every front -
through research, support, information and campaigning.
For more information on the Yukon River Challenge and to sponsor
Tim and James visit http://devon2dawson.co.uk/