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Lowestoft man's Thames kayaking effort raises £10,000 for British Heart Foundation

PUBLISHED: 13:34 30 June 2017 | UPDATED: 13:39 30 June 2017

Adam (far left) with fellow kayakers in Lechlade before setting off down the Thames. Photo: Dorin Vancea.

Adam (far left) with fellow kayakers in Lechlade before setting off down the Thames. Photo: Dorin Vancea.

Dorin Vancea

A group of friends have kayaked 150 miles down the River Thames to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

The effort raised over �10,000 for the British Heart Foundation. Photo: Dorin Vancea.The effort raised over �10,000 for the British Heart Foundation. Photo: Dorin Vancea.

Adam Castleton, originally from Lowestoft, set off on Saturday, June 17 alongside five pals, with the hope of paddling the distance in just five days.

Their ambitious journey began in Lechlade, Gloucestershire, taking them through five different counties, 46 tricky locks and a testing tide. They eventually crossed the finish line under London’s Tower Bridge on Wednesday, June 21.

The group have raised a magnificent £10,000 for the British Heart Foundation, money which will help fund paediatric cardiac research in memory of Mr Castleton’s son Finn, who was born in June 2015 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and sadly passed away in December the same year.

In typical fashion, the ever-reliable British weather served up five of the hottest days of the year for the kayakers to negotiate, but the determined fleet battled through the heat, blisters and aching limbs to conquer their target.

The group paddle past Hampton Court. Photo: Sharon Wallace.The group paddle past Hampton Court. Photo: Sharon Wallace.

Mr Castleton said that, despite the challenges, the experience was more than worthwhile.

“All of us are feeling slightly sore and tired now, and we probably won’t be jumping into a kayak again any time soon, but we are so proud to have achieved something so positive that celebrates Finn’s life,” he said.

“The sheer determination from every one of the kayakers and the amazing support we’ve had along the journey has absolutely astounded us. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been there with us every paddle of the way.”

The British Heart Foundation conducts critical research into congenital heart defects and, thanks to their relentless work, the number of children surviving has dramatically improved, with around eight in ten now living to adulthood.

Five days and 150 miles later, the kayakers reached Tower Bridge. Photo: Dorin Vancea.Five days and 150 miles later, the kayakers reached Tower Bridge. Photo: Dorin Vancea.

“It is thanks to this pioneering medical research from the British Heart Foundation that we got to spend time with Finn and create some wonderful memories that will stay with us forever,” added Mr Castleton.

‘Kayak The Thames’ has already raised over £10,000, but donations can still be made at www.kayakthethames.com.

For more information about the British Heart Foundation, visit www.bhf.org.uk.

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