So far John has raised a phenomenal £1,660,198 but it’s not too late for the public to show their support – sponsor John at www.sportrelief.com/bishop.
Fighting against extreme fatigue, sickness, and chafing limbs, John made his final few strides up the Mall and battled his way to a triumphant arrival in Trafalgar Square, where he was greeted by a huge crowd cheering him on to the finish line accompanied by the Liverpool FC anthem ’You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
Along with his wife Mel and his three sons, John was greeted by comedian Jason Manford and a roaring crowd of supporters.
On hearing the final total John, who was moved to tears, said: I’m absolutely blown away. That money is going to change lives." He went on to say: "It’s just unbelievable. It’s absolutely staggering. I’ve seen the projects that Sport Relief supports and the great thing is it’s not only going to help people abroad. You can get in your car anywhere in the country and within 15 minutes you will find a Sport Relief funded project. That is amazing.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And on behalf of all those who will benefit from the money, thank you from the bottom of their hearts too.”
John set out on his epic journey on Monday, 27th February, from the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and cycled the gruelling 185 miles to Calais in 18 and a half hours. Having had only one hour of sleep he then embarked on his Channel crossing on Tuesday, where he was joined by celebrity rowers Davina McCall, Denise Lewis and Freddie Flintoff.
After an agonizing seven hours and 45 minutes, the oar-some foursome landed in Dover, where the next day he would start the third and final leg of his challenge – a mere three marathons, back to back!
On Wednesday John embarked on his first marathon from Dover to Faversham which saw him pounding the pavements with Dermot O'Leary and Radio 1’s Comedy Dave, who each joined John for a seven mile leg. Despite taking an initial tumble, John was spurred on by his running mates, and crowds of waving school children.
Thursday saw John’s wife Mel, Frank Skinner and Radio 1’s Chris Moyles join him on marathon number two, as he ran an astonishing 28 miles from Faversham to Gravesend. John had suffered from sickness the night before as the extreme punishment his body has been subjected to started to take its toll. With regular breaks for food and physio to support his weary muscles, John became the pied piper of Kent as he amassed a following of runners.
On his final day, held together by bright blue medical tape John pushed on, despite tremendous agony. In particular, John’s right shin was causing him intense pain, and each rest stop called for more rigorous physio treatment. Whilst on his last legs, John had friends and family running with him including his brother Eddie, Radio 1’s Greg James and footballer Robbie Savage to help him power through the pain. On reaching the finish the medical team immediately strapped him into an air cast boot, encompassing his whole foot and lower leg, to support the damaged shin.
The money John has raised will not only help to pay for a vaccine against five deadly diseases for 250,000 children in Africa, but also help people living incredibly tough lives in the UK.
Every year, almost two million children in Africa die from diseases that can be prevented by simple vaccines. Pentavalent is one such vaccine. It costs just £5 and protects against five deadly diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and haemophilus, which can cause meningitis and pneumonia.
BT has given £66,000 for each day of the challenge and today donated an extra £133,000 to make a total of £463,000 to support John’s challenge. This is part of the £1million BT has committed to raise in support The BT Sport Relief challenges – a series of celebrity challenges sponsored by BT for Sport Relief 2012.
All the ups and downs from John’s challenge will be captured for a BBC documentary, to be broadcast in the build up to the Sport Relief Weekend, which is taking place from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th March.