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AECOM's man muscles his way through UK challenge

Long distance runner Stuart Walker has just returned from a mammoth trek travelling the entire length of the British Isles by muscle power alone.
The 24-year-old buildings engineer clocked up an incredible 1,200 miles as he ran, swam and rowed his way from the Isles of Scilly to the Orkney Islands

Walker, who works at the Leeds office of AECOM, took just over three weeks to complete his challenge and managed time to climb the UK's three highest peaks on his way.

He said: 'It was difficult trying to cope with the change in conditions. It seemed the British weather system was trying to throw everything it had at me from searing sun to torrential rain'.

Walker's journey began in a kayak around the Isles of Scilly. But his quest to do the entire journey by muscle power alone was thwarted when bad weather meant he was unable to do the crossing back to Land's End.

From Penzance he then ran and cycled through Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, and on into Wales. After a quick jog over Mount Snowdon, he made his way back to England where he met up with colleagues from work who supported him during his journey through part of the Lake District.

He then swam across Derwent Water (probably the hardest mile of the trip, he says), then cycled into Scotland. He kayaked from Fort William along the Caledonian Canal, Loch Linhe and Loch Oich before being fished out of Loch Ness by the RNLI when conditions became just too challenging.

After a trip to Inverness for a new pair of glasses (he lost the first pair in Loch Ness) Stuart cycled all the way to Orkney. However he was unable to row across to the Shetland Isles because of the expense of carrying his rowing boat to Scotland.

Despite missing out on his ultimate goal, Walker was overjoyed at his achievements and is now hoping to raise as much money as possible for his three chosen charities Avert Aids, Water for kids and NSPCC.

'I didn't quite achieve what I had planned to, mainly because of the cost of transporting the rowing boat to Scotland, but I'm happy with what I did. I'm still trying to raise as much money as possible and hopefully people might support the challenge more now I have done something,' he added.

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28 July 2009


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