Henlow ex-soldier sets new world record

Michael Swain set a new world record
Michael Swain set a new world record

A Henlow man set a new world record on Sunday when he completed 850 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End on a hand-bike in under four days.

Double amputee Michael Swain, 29, wanted to take on the extreme challenge on the bike which involved covering 212 miles during the days and climbing over 32,000 ft during the route.

The ex-soldier who was injured in Afghanistan when he was hit by an IED in 2009 when he was aged just 19, is a double amputee above the knees, having and suffered shrapnel wounds to both arms.

He wanted to raise money for 65 Degrees North and the British Limbless Ex-Serviceman Association (BLESMA). His target is £10,000.

Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, is a British charity that helps all serving and ex-Service men and women who have lost limbs, or lost the use of limbs or eyes, to rebuild their lives by providing rehabilitation activities and welfare support.

Michael said: “Both of these incredible organisations have made a huge difference to me and many of my fellow wounded comrades, helping us to crack on and live active, meaningful and fulfilled lives.”

The 29-year-old completed the challenge on Sunday night, six hours earlier than predicted. He said: “I have had a solid support team behind me from 65 Degrees North.

“The toughest bit was in Scotland. There was a lot of fatigue on the body the following day, I was definitely glad to get out of Scotland. A lot of people didn’t think I would complete it, so I’m hoping now that I have they will donate.

“I am open to suggestions for my next challenge, maybe something off the bike.”

65 Degrees North seeks to help in the rehabilitation of wounded, injured or sick (WIS) current or ex-servicemen and women by offering the opportunity to participate in challenging adventure.

By changing the perception of physical and mental disability through the ‘Spirit of Adventure’, it aims to inspire and motivate others to overcome, achieve and succeed.

> To make a donation visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-swain4