Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Adventurer cycles into record books

James Ketchell crosses the finish line for his challenge at Greenwich Park, London (Innesco/PA)

An adventurer who was seriously hurt in a motorbike accident is thought to have cycled into the record books by becoming the first person to complete a trio of gruelling challenges.

Briton James Ketchell was told he would never walk properly again after shattering his ankle in a road accident in 2007.

But the 31-year-old Scout ambassador from London rose from his hospital bed to complete a remarkable recovery - and today became the first man believed to have rowed the Atlantic , climbed Mount Everest and completed an arduous global cycle.

Scout Ambassador Mr Ketchell was swamped by more than 150 people including family, friends, Scouts from all over the country and sponsorship supporters when he crossed the finish line at 1.30pm on Saturday in Greenwich.

He said: "It's an incredible feeling, I'm just so happy and relieved to have done it and hopefully I've inspired other people to achieve what they want to do in life in the process."

"I've met some amazing people along the way, people taking me into their homes, and visiting kids in schools, hospitals and obviously Scout groups, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I hope I've done them justice in a way and repaid some of the generosity they've shown me."

The adventurer has been cycling on average 100 miles a day since June last year. The global cycle took him through over 20 different countries.

Mr Ketchell rowed the 3,000 miles from La Gomera to Antigua in 110 days, reached the 29,029-foot summit of Mount Everest in six weeks and cycled 18,000 miles around the world in just under eight months.

But seven years earlier he was told he could have severe difficulty walking and little chance of performing any continual physical tasks following the bike crash.

"That just made me want it more," said Mr Ketchell. "I could sit and feel sorry for myself, or I could do something about it."

The charity fundraiser has been testing his body to the limits in support of the ELIFAR Foundation, which aims to help improve the quality of life of disabled children and adults through grants for specialised equipment.

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