Gloucestershire

Mississippi canoe challenge: Kevin Brady completes charity paddle

Kevin Brady
Image caption The challenge has raised £3,000 for the Pied Piper Appeal at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

A British man has completed a charity canoe challenge to paddle the length of the Mississippi River in the US.

Kevin Brady, from Gloucester, took more than 140 days to canoe from the river's source in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, to the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of more than 2,000 miles (3,200km).

Mr Brady is a cousin of Jamie McDonald, who recently ran across Canada.

The 30-year-old said he was "so happy to have finished, because at so many points it looked unlikely".

"It has not really sunk in yet. It is probably going to hit me in a few days - the enormity of what I have achieved," he said.

Before setting off on the challenge in September, he said he had only one weekend's preparation on the River Wye.

During the journey down the Mississippi, Mr Brady paddled up to 14 hours a day in a 17ft (5m) aluminium two-man canoe called Orca.

Image caption Kevin Brady endured severe cold, camped on snow and woke up to find a family of bears nearby at one stage

Along the way, he either slept on the riverside or was taken in by strangers, endured severe cold and, on occasion, camped on snow.

He said at one stage he had woken up to find a family of bears nearby.

"The most enjoyable days are when you've pushed your body hard, you're absolutely spent and you get to your destination and feel huge euphoria knowing you've worked hard to get there."

The challenge has raised more than £3,000 for the Pied Piper Appeal for sick children at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

Mr Brady said he was "so proud to have raised a good deal of money" for the charity.

But he added there were no plans for his next challenge as he "needs to fix" his body first as "it is absolutely ruined".

Image caption Mr Brady paddled for up to 14 hours a day in his two-man canoe during the 2,000 mile (3,200km) challenge

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