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Tom Daley facing one Hell of a Homecoming for Comic Relief

Olympic champion Tom Daley is taking part in a gruelling endurance challenge to raise life-changing charity cash for Comic Relief.

He will row, run, swim and cycle from London to Plymouth for Tom Daley’s Hell of a Homecoming Red Nose Day journey.

Daley will push himself to the limit as he sets off from the London Aquatic Centre in Stratford before arriving in his hometown four days later.

Along the way, Daley will pass through significant places and locations from his life and be joined by friends, family and fellow Olympians, while calling on the British public to get behind him more than ever.

He said: “When I first heard about this challenge, I honestly thought it was going to be impossible as I’ve never done anything like this before. 

“Although I’ve trained for the Olympics, I’ve never done any kind of endurance training, let alone swimming in freezing water and let me tell you, it’s cold.

“I said yes to the opportunity as it’s one hell of a challenge and, most importantly, it will be raising money for Comic Relief and for people who really need it. 

“I really hope my journey inspires people to donate. The thought that this challenge might actually make a difference to someone’s life, someone who is struggling, is what will help me push through every step.

“I’d love for people to get out on the streets and come and say hello while we’re doing this challenge – I’m going to need all the support that I can get. 

“Most importantly, even if you can’t come outside and say hello, it would mean so much to so many people if you could donate what you can to Red Nose Day.

“Am I ready for it? I guess I’m ready as I’ll ever be.”

Test of his endurance

The highs and lows of the challenge will be captured at every moment along the way for a special one-hour BBC One and iPlayer documentary to be broadcast ahead of Red Nose Day, which returns on Friday 18 March.

Daley has been training six hours a day with experts from each discipline to ensure he’s fit enough to compete the challenge.

He will row six miles and cycle 60 miles on day one followed by a 1,000m swim in the Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake and a 63 mile bike ride.

Day three will see hims cycle 130 miles from Southampton to Bovey Castle and he will complete his challenge with a 30-mile run on day four.

His trainers include Mark Buckingham (British Triathlon/Brownlee Fitness), Shane Benzie (Running Reborn), Kerri Ann Payne (two-time open water swimming world champion), Nicola Benavente (British Rowing) and Gareth Ziyambi (British Diving).

Ziyambi, Daley’s diving coach and physio, said: “As an Olympic athlete, Tom is used to vigorous training – however this challenge really is a test of his endurance. 

“His training schedule has involved a change to training for four endurance events in cold outdoor conditions which is completely new to him. 

“He’s had to train in a very carefully planned and controlled regime, learned the basic techniques of rowing, swimming and running with technical experts in order to minimise the stresses placed on his body and finally train his body deal with performing in very cold conditions. 

‘I think the ultramarathon and the open water swim will be the biggest tests but Tom will approach this like he has every other challenge he’s had to date, with the belief and determination to succeed and achieve his end goal – raising as much money as possible for the people and children supported by Comic Relief.”

The money raised by Daley will help support vital life-changing work, tackling issues including homelessness, domestic abuse, poverty and mental health problems in the UK and around the world.

To find out more and support Daley, visit comicrelief.com/tomschallenge

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