They knew it was never going to be an easy task but the epic charity challenge that Ayton’s Hamish Allan and his friend Kit Alexander set themselves is now complete and they’re back home in one piece.
The event, given the title ‘The Italian Job 2013’ saw the daring duo travel to Italy before making their way back to London by swimming 23 miles and cycling 1,325 miles before running a marathon when they set foot back in the capital.
Contemplating such a feat let alone actually completing it in less than two weeks would have most people quaking with fear but Hamish and Kit are now getting back to their normal lives and have raised £16,000 so far for soliders’ charity Coming Home through their efforts.
With a hefty mileage in front of them, Hamish and Kit were hoping that their trip would get off to a smooth start but a series of bad luck meant this didn’t happen.
“Just before we set off for Italy I’d booked a summer holiday to Croatia for August, flying from Gatwick,” Hamish explained.
“So when our taxi driver picked us up I instinctively said we were to go to Gatwick. It wasn’t until after he asked us which terminal we wanted dropped at and checked my tickets that I realised we were actually flying from Stansted. We made it across the other side of London with just enough time to check in and get the bags and bikes through over-sized luggage but when we landed in Naples all of gear was nowhere to be seen.”
After an eventful start, Hamish and Kit were later reunited with their belongings and were bracing themselves for the first leg of their challenge - the swim from Naples to Capri. The pair had set a target of completing the stretch of water in 8-9 hours but after making some good early progress things took a turn for the worse.
“We’d set off early on Saturday, July 8, and were making good time when all of a sudden the wind picked up and the waves got really big.
“It felt like we were moving forward but in reality we were pretty much stationary which was a little demoralising. The power of the waves made you feel like you were getting thrown round in a washing machine”.
Hamish and Kit eventually reached dry land after 10.5 hours and after loading up on food and getting an early night it was time to get into the saddle and embark on their two wheeled leg of The Italian Job. This proved to be less eventful but just as tough.
“It was exceptionally hard. We reached heights of 2,478 metres and at times were cycling in temperatures of 39 degrees. We did the cycle completely un-supported which meant that at the end of every day we had to pitch our own tents and make our own meals before we could get some rest. In the morning we had everything to pack away and weren’t getting on the road as early as we’d have liked which meant we were cycling through mid-day heat quite regularly.”
After putting their bodies through the mill, Hamish and Kit still had 26.2 miles to run when they arrived back into London. And there was no rest for either of them as they were both back at work the following day.
“My legs were aching for the first few days back at home but it soon started to wear off and life is now back to relative normality. I really hope everyone can get behind our bid to help Coming Home.”
To donate visit www.theitalianjob2013.co.uk.