Davina McCall will be ‘going the extra mile’ for Sport Relief by taking on the BT Sport Relief Challenge: Davina – Beyond Breaking Point, a seven day ordeal which will see the 46-year-old attempt to run, swim and cycle over 500 miles from Edinburgh to London – entirely under her own steam.
She’ll be doing it with women, for women as she is joined by female celebrities on the challenge that will raise money for women living incredibly tough lives. The challenge is sponsored by BT, a long-term supporter of Comic Relief challenges since 2009.
The toughest challenge of Davina’s life will see her tackle a 130-mile cycle on day one alone – equivalent to some of the longest stages on the Tour de France. The following days will be just as punishing, as she pushes through the pain barrier to swim the life-threateningly cold Lake Windermere – where survival times at this time of year are just 30 minutes. She will also face scaling the colossal Scafell Pike on foot, before finishing after six tortuous days by running a full marathon into London.
Starting in Edinburgh on Saturday 8th February and finishing in London on Friday 14th February, Davina will battle saddle sores as she spends over 47 hours peddling; conquer a life-long fear of open water swimming and burn over 10,000 calories per day as she expends every last ounce of energy to reach London.
Davina’s challenge is all about girl power. She’ll be joined by famous female friends along the route and will be spurred along by her ultimate goal of helping projects that work to help women. In many developing countries, simply being born female can mean a lifetime of added dangers and challenges, and money raised from the challenge will be spent to help change the lives of thousands of women and girls in Kenya as well as transform lives in the UK and around the world.
Davina said: “When I first started training for this challenge, I cried every day for a fortnight. My body’s not built for an endurance challenge of this scale, and I’m absolutely terrified of open water and I can’t run!! But no matter how tough it gets, I just keep thinking it’s nothing compared to the struggles the women I’ve met in Kenya have to live through. Thinking of them will be the thing that keeps me going when things get tough, and I know every penny I raise will really make such a massive difference to people’s lives. I’m doing this for the girls.”
Davina will be the voice of BT’s Speaking Clock from Monday 27th January until the 23rd March, during which BT will donate 10p to Sport Relief for every call made to the BT Speaking Clock from a BT landline. If that wasn’t enough, BT is also declaring Thursday 13th February ‘Dial for Davina’ day, where BT will kindly donate 1p to Sport Relief for every call made from a BT home phone line, BT business line as well as every call made from a BT payphone.
All the ups and downs of Davina’s challenge will be captured for a BBC documentary, to be broadcast in the run up to Sport Relief Weekend, which is taking place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March.
Find out more about how you can support Davina’s challenge here.