James Reilly and Ted Simpson, two 21-year-old childhood friends, have broken the world record for the fastest crossing of the Loch Ness in a tandem kayak. If that wasn’t an achievement alone, Ted suffers from bronchiectasis, and the two raised more than £2,000 — the equivalent to $3,135 — for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
The two friends established their goal and on July 16th they crossed the lake in 4 hours, 43 minutes and 43 seconds. They have decided to support the Cystic Fibrosis Trust since the cause is very close to them. Simpson, who comes from Manchester, was diagnosed with bronchiectasis two years ago and has been dealing with the chronic condition, which is closely associated with CF.
Bronchiectasis is a long-term disease caused by an infection or by cystic fibrosis, and patients suffer with abnormally widened lung airways, experiencing excessive mucus, shortness of breath, persistent coughing and chest pain. The British non-profit organization Cystic Fibrosis Trust helps patients dealing with it and supports research to advance treatment.
“One of the main reasons for attempting this record is so that we can try and raise money and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, a cause we are both passionate about. Cystic fibrosis is an incredibly debilitating disease, and sufferers don’t always get the attention and support that they need and deserve,” the friends said, according to the organization.
Reilly, who is from Guernsey, is also connected to the disease, and while he studies Medicine at Bristol University, part of his time is spent assisting specialists in cystic fibrosis, working on research for potential new treatments. “We’ve been friends for so long, I don’t think I could have done this with anyone else,” he said.
To prepare for the challenge, the two friends trained for nine months, with regular trainings that included four hours at the gym and running half marathons. In the end, the result was beating the previous mark established in the Guiness World Records of five hours and 19 minutes.
Regarding the difficulty of the challenge and the myth of the Loch Ness Monters, Ted said before the trial: “The loch itself is the real monster. It’s a daunting prospect rowing for so long without stopping, and the wind can whip up waves out there, but if we do see Nessie, we’ll be sure to snap a picture.”
It is still possible to support Jim and Ted’s cause by visiting the Just Giving page created by the two friends.