This Easter weekend, RAF veteran Chris Hawes took on the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race (or DW as it is often called) in a kayaking challenge to raise awareness of Help for Heroes.
Chris’ feat of endurance covered 125 miles over the four day Easter weekend, negotiating over 75 locks along the route, some of which had a 500 metre walk between them, creating an added test of physical and mental stamina for Chris and the team.
The first of their four day challenge was the hardest with Chris and Ian completing the route with only 15 minutes to spare but from day two onwards the pair went from strength to strength! Not even the torrential downpour of rain on Easter Day could stop them as they finished in style on Easter Monday paddling through London in sunshine and style to the finish!Chris was supported in this challenge by kayaking partner Ian McClune and other staff and residents from Help for Heroes run Recovery Centre, Tedworth House.
Adaptive Sports Coach & Adventure Training Lead at Tedworth House, Ian McClune said of the weekend, “It was emotional. The locks were a particular challenge but we had a fantastic time and would love to do it all over again next year!”
Chris was medically discharged in 2005 having been diagnosed with Chronic Pain Syndrome a year earlier. The pain became so bad that Chris and his family made the decision to have his leg amputated and in 2011 he had the operation. Since then Chris regularly attends the gym at Heroes run Recovery Centre, Tedworth House often preparing for a kayaking challenge of some kind and rumour has it a possible Yukon expedition!
Chris and Ian were not being sponsored for this challenge but if you would like to support their effort you can donate online at www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donate.