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Ashford men Lloyd Starley, Ollie Finch and Alan Hart will attempt to raise £15,000 by pedaling 140 miles in two weeks in a swan

By Samantha Williams

Three men from Ashford have reached day four of their two week challenge to travel 140 miles in a swan pedalo.

Lloyd Starley, Ollie Finch and Alan Hart left for Stroke-on-Trent with their white vessel - named Penelope - on Sunday.

They plan to reach Oxford by June 14 - pedaling an average of 10 miles a day along several canels.

Lloyd and Ollie on the second day of the challenge

So far they have passed Etruria, Stone and Little Haywood, all in Staffordshire, and Fradley Junction, the point at which the Coventry Canal joins the Trent and Mersey Canal.

Their journey will see them passing through some 90 locks.

Alan, who will support Ollie and Lloyd along the way, said: “We didn’t want to do anything ordinary, and have enjoyed watching people’s faces when we explained what we’re doing!”

Lloyd 'enjoys' an ice bath

As well as enduring hours of pedaling each day and wet conditions, the men are facing regular ice baths to help their bodies recover from the vigorous exercise.

They set out to complete the challenge - titled Swan Song for Sue - on behalf of the Pilgrims Hospice, which cared for their close friend Jamie's mum, Sue Hutton, before she died.

Mrs Hutton, from Kennington, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2012 and died two months later, aged 51.

Waving on their admirers
Alan Hart, Lloyd Starley and Ollie Finch

Ollie, a BT telephone engineer, said: “I knew Sue for many years, as a mum to my best friend Jamie and as a work colleague at Burger King.

“She was a true character and a caring mother and grandmother. When she was sadly taken from us it rocked the lives of all the people she had touched.

“To do this event in Sue’s name seems a perfect way to honour such a great woman who will be sadly missed.”

Sue Hutton passed away in February 2013 aged 51

The trio plan to camp overnight during the two-week trip, but are hoping to spend a couple of nights in B&Bs so that they can freshen up.

So far they have raised £2,000 of their £15,000 target.

To sponsor them go to www.justgiving.com/swansongforsue

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