DADS Steve Bush and Mark Ball did not think it enough just to take part in the Devizes to Westminster Canoe race.

Instead they decided to throw in 24 hours of fell running and a tandem cycle ride from John O’ Groats to Lands End before taking to the water on Easter Saturday.

By the time they reach Westminster 24 hours later they will have been challenging themselves non-stop for six days.

But carpenter Mr Bush, 34, from Devizes and his teacher pal Mark Ball from Lavington, say no succeeding is not an option.

Mr Bush said: “We met through Devizes Canoe Club and trained hard last year to do the Devizes to Westminster but it had to be cancelled part way through because of the weather.

“We decided we wanted to do something even more difficult and I had heard about The Epic Tri and thought we should give it a go. We will start in the Lake District with the fell running on April 15. It covers 42 peaks and we cover a height greater than Everest.

“We will then travel to John O’Groats where we will do a tandem cycle ride which we estimate will take 80 hours and we will have hardly any sleep.

“A van will take us back to Devizes. We will try and sleep on the way. We will go straight to The Wharf and set off in the canoe race which we hope to complete in 24 hours.”

The men, who both have young children, have been training 30 hours a week. Mr Bush said: “We start at 5am and also go out late in the evening so it doesn’t mess up family life too much. But our families have been very supportive and will be cheering us on. Lots of people think we are a bit bonkers.”

They hope to repay the faith of their families by doing them proud on the long journey. Mr Bush said: “Failure just isn’t an option. Whatever happens we are determined to finish.

“The tandem cycle ride will probably be the hardest part but we will get in the canoe already feeling exhausted. We just have to avoid injury.

They are raising money for Dorothy House Hospice, which looked after Mr Bush’s cousin at the end of his life a few years ago.

He said: “We wanted to support a local charity and I know first hand what a good job Dorothy House does. We are also raising money for Devizes Canoe Club as that is what first brought us together.”

To follow their progress go to