Anthony’s epic Land’s End to John o’Groats journey

Anthony Gotts at the finish in John o' Groats (s)
Anthony Gotts at the finish in John o' Groats (s)

A wheelchair athlete who trains in Nelson has pushed himself to the limit and towards a world record, riding from Land’s End to John o’ Groats in just 20 days.

Anthony Gotts (32), from Helmshore, completed the gruelling 900 mile journey in a world record time on Sunday and also smashed his own estimated time by eight days in the process.

Anthony Gotts wheelcahiring his way from Land's End to John o' Groats (s)

Anthony Gotts wheelcahiring his way from Land's End to John o' Groats (s)

Anthony, who is a member of Barlick Fell Runners and trains at Seedhill Athletics Track, averaged 45 miles per day, without rest, to finish the journey in the record time, having aimed to push 33 miles per day.

He was supported by a group of friends who cycled and drove alongside him all the way and Anthony also hopes to have smashed his charity fund-raising target of £5,000 for the 53 Foundation when all the money has been collected.

Anthony said: “I did more than expected because I didn’t know I could push that far. My best day was 61 miles.

“I had only done two marathons before this but the further I got the better I got.

Anthony Gotts grinds his way up another hill as he attempts Land's End to John o' Groats in a world record time (s)

Anthony Gotts grinds his way up another hill as he attempts Land's End to John o' Groats in a world record time (s)

“We ran into hailstorms and there is still snow on the hills up there. It was really cold at times, and things can wrong, but as soon as you start seeing the signs you know you’re there.

“My dog Bonnie ran the last half mile with me which was nice. She used to do quite a bit with me but she’s 12 now and I’m a bit faster. I’m well chuffed.

“My mum and sister had the bunting out when I got home!”

Anthony was an able-bodied athlete until he tore muscles and broke his pelvis in a freak long-jumping accident. He had been looking to make the trials for the London Olympics, but gradually lost the use of both legs, refocusing as a wheelchair athlete.

Anthony now needs to send off his evidence to Guinness for it to be officially rubber stamped as a record and has his eyes on more prizes.

Anthony added: “I’ve already identified three more world records that I know I can break, but I can’t tell you which ones yet.”