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Five hours to work by kayak

When Adam pondered how to raise money for Red Cross Week, he decided on a commute by kayak – and it’s a journey he’s unlikely to forget.

It puts a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘slow travel’.

Adam Bladwell, 31, had to set his alarm at the crack of dawn on the day of his fundraising challenge: a sponsored 13-mile journey to work by kayak.

The commute ended up taking five hours – so we’ll forgive him for not going back the same route.

Kayak but no water

Outdoors enthusiast Adam had to leave his home in Camden, Bath, at 4.30am.

And one of his first big hurdles was a distinct lack of river.

He recalls: “Nine miles of the journey was by kayak via the Kennet and Avon Canal and the River Avon. But neither my house in Bath nor my office in Warmley, near Bristol, are very near the water.

“About four miles of the journey involved me dragging the kayak along the cycle path on a canoe trolley.

“The trolley had to be strapped to the back of the canoe when I was on the water.”

Health-and-safety dad

Despite the extreme nature of his commuting challenge, Adam arrived at the office just 20 minutes late, looking pretty unruffled.

This was despite having to run the last bit of the journey, to make up for time lost on a few “unexpected” weirs.

The fundraiser was closely followed by his dad, Pete.

Pete took parental responsibility very seriously – and shadowed the entire journey on a bike, just to check his son didn’t fall in the water.

Kingfishers and scenery

So what made Adam take on such a barmy commute?

As a development manager with the British Red Cross’s independent living services, Adam says he was keen to raise funds for Red Cross Week.

“I have seen first-hand the amazing work the organisation does. Any donations go a long way to helping people here in the UK and overseas.”

He adds: “And it was great! I enjoyed it. The scenery was lovely and I saw a few kingfishers on the way, which made it all worthwhile.

“Plus I’ve already smashed my target and raised more than £150 for Red Cross Week.”


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