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Billy Monger offers update after 140-mile triathlon halted by dangerous weather

Racing driver Billy Monger in the Lake District (Comic Relief/PA)
Racing driver Billy Monger in the Lake District (Comic Relief/PA)

Racing driver Billy Monger has said he will have to sprint the next section of his 140-mile triathlon-inspired charity challenge if he is to stay on track.

The 21-year-old double amputee is attempting to tackle the distance to raise money for Red Nose Day but winds of 50mph and high waves scuppered his day-two plan to kayak across a lake in the Lake District on Tuesday.

He said it was still not clear whether he would make it on to the water and suggested the disruption meant the challenge would have to be extended from four days to five.

If Monger, who lost both of his legs in a racing accident three years ago, is not able to cover the planned distance on water, he expects to tackle the lost miles either by walking or on a bike.

He told the PA news agency: “The schedule was to do this challenge over four days and obviously losing a day yesterday probably means it is now going to be over five days.

“Hopefully, depending on the mileage we can get done today in the kayak if we can get out there, we are basically of the mindset of it is going to be a sprint.

“I am going to give it everything I have got. It is not going to be a nice, easy pace. I am going to have to really push myself today, which I have been doing in training, so in some ways I am quite looking forward to it.

“It is a chance for me to put my intense training into practice and really see what pace I can hang on to for those few hours we are hopefully going to get.”

Monger said he had received messages of support from friends and family since news of the disruption broke on Tuesday.

“Obviously I was gutted not to get out there because after day one and how tough that was and the fact we managed to overcome it,” he said.

“I wanted to use that momentum to push me on into yesterday and the rest of the challenge.

“The fact we then had to have a day off yesterday, you are sitting back around the hotel again.

Billy Monger Red Nose Day Challenge
Billy Monger in the Lake District (Comic Relief/PA)

“Just waking up this morning I was as nervous as I was when I started rather than being a bit more confident after doing a day.

“It was like starting from scratch again in some ways because you lose that momentum.”

Monger began racing at the age of six, but in April 2017 he suffered life-changing injuries in a crash during a British F4 race which resulted in the amputation of both his legs.

However, he was back at the wheel within a year and has now been training for months to take on the charity challenge.

He was due to walk, kayak and cycle the distance to raise money to help tackle issues including homelessness, hunger, domestic abuse and mental health problems.

On Monday he walked 18 miles from Newcastle to Durham, joined by comedian Chris Ramsey.

People at home will be able to see all the highs and lows of Monger’s challenge in an hour-long special documentary, filmed by a reduced crew, on BBC One in March.

– Donations can be made at https://www.comicrelief.com/rednoseday/challenges/billy/?utm_source=print&utm_medium=press&utm_campaign=RND21_BillyChallenge_Awareness_Visit_NA_NA_UK_NA_NA_Text_pr-media_CR0000195&utm_term=NA&utm_content=NA

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