Olympic champion Tom Daley has completed his four-day Hell of a Homecoming for Red Nose Day
Hundreds of supporters gathered to cheer Tom over the finish line for what has been the most demanding and exhausting challenge of his life
Tom has endured the toughest week of his sporting career all to raise as much money as possible to help change lives in the UK and around the world
Tom has tackled a 6-mile row, 1,600m open water swim, a total of 253 miles on the bike and a 30-mile ultramarathon today to bring him to a triumphant end at Smeaton’s Tower, Plymouth Hoe
Tom was joined by his mum, Debbie, and Eddie Izzard to help spur him on for his final day
Stars including Ellie Simmonds, Davina McCall, Matty Lee and Sir Steve Redgrave have all shown their love and support throughout the week
All the action has been filmed for a primetime documentary, to air on BBC One and iPlayer in March
Red Nose Day returns on Friday 18th March
To support Tom and donate visit comicrelief.com/tomschallenge
Thursday 16th March: Tom Daley has made it home to a rapturous hero’s welcome like no other this evening, as he crossed the finish line of this gruelling 290-mile four-day journey from the Aquatics Centre, in London, to the iconic Smeaton’s Tower, Plymouth Hoe. It surely has been one Hell of a Homecoming!
Hundreds of supporters, family and friends gathered to cheer Tom over the finish line for what has been the most demanding and exhausting challenge of this life. Tom has endured one of the toughest weeks of his sporting career all to raise as much money as possible to help change lives in the UK and around the world.
Over the past four days, Tom has pushed his body to the absolute limit. Tom has rowed 6 miles along London’s busy narrow canals and the daunting freezing cold waters of the River Thames, capsizing a short way in; has cycled over 250 miles in total battling through 40mph winds and relentless rain that at one point pushed him off his bike; took on his first ever open water swim in 5.2-degree water struggling against strong winds; and today ran 30 miles with help from his mum and Eddie Izzard, to make it all the way home.
This morning, before setting off, Tom said: “After my 130-mile cycle yesterday, I really thought I had reached breaking point. The last 11 miles were all uphill with a 20-degree incline - my legs were giving up and I was exhausted from over 15 hours on the bike. It is definitely the toughest thing I’ve ever had to put my body through. Today’s run will have the most impact on my body. I’m used to doing a 1.6 second sport, so an ultra-marathon is a bit different! I’ll just have to take it all one step at a time and hope that my body makes it to the finish line.”
Comic Relief challenge legend, Eddie Izzard, joined Tom for much needed moral support on part of his run today, as more than anyone, Eddie knows how brutal and lonely such a physically demanding fundraising challenge can be, having completed 27 marathons in 27 days across South Africa for Comic Relief in 2017.
Eddie said: “I think Tom feels really rough at the moment but he’s looking in pretty good shape. He is an Olympian, but at the same time this endurance challenge is way out of his comfort zone. The people along the streets are really willing us along and I think that’s going to be a real boost for the final stretch.
“For me, the main way I can support Tom is just to keep talking to him and take his mind off things and that way the miles will just pass. He just has to keep powering on and doing exactly what he’s doing. He has just met his grandparents and his mum will be joining him later, and although his body will be running down, his endorphins will keep him going and drive him through to the finish line. Tom’s adventure will inspire people to give whatever they can to Comic Relief, which will help people in the UK and around the world who are struggling, and that’s a really amazing thing to be a part of."
The reaction and support from the public have been extraordinary, with school pupils and supporters lining the streets along the way with banners and posters of good luck messages. Communities have rallied together to welcome Tom through their towns and cities while some familiar faces have shared tips and advice each step of the way including Ellie Simmonds, Davina McCall, Matty Lee and Sir Steve Redgrave along with Eddie Izzard who joined Tom on his ultramarathon today.
Speaking as he crossed the finish line Tom said: “I can’t believe I’ve made it to Plymouth after all I’ve been through the past few days. It’s been the hardest four days of my life. I can’t wait to just crash and not do anything for a very long time. I’m exhausted!
“If you can, please donate what you can to Red Nose Day because it would make a world of difference to so many families all across the country. To come home and see all my family here, as well as so many people, is pretty special, so thank you. I don’t really know what else to say other than I just need to go and sleep for about six years! Thank you all so much and love you.”
Tom’s Hell of a Homecoming challenge has tested Tom’s fitness and drive like never before. All of the highs and lows will be captured at every moment along the way for a special one-hour BBC One and iPlayer documentary, produced by Twofour, to air in March, ahead of Red Nose Day which returns on Friday 18th March.
The money raised by Tom Daley will help support vital life changing work, tackling issues including homelessness, domestic abuse, poverty and mental health problems in the UK and around the world.
To find out more and support Tom, go to comicrelief.com/tomschallenge
Summary of each day:
Tom first took to the narrow canals and freezing waters of the River Thames to complete a six-mile row, from the Aquatics Centre, Stratford, to finish at the iconic, Tower Pier. After completing his row on the rough water, it was then onto a 60-mile cycle ride from the Tower of London to the Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake, Reading.
For his second day, Tom took on a daunting open water swim, in the freezing temperatures of the Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake for a 1,600m open water swim, his longest ever swim indoors, or outdoors. After finishing his swim, an already exhausted Tom then jumped back on his bike, to complete a 63-mile cycle to Southampton.
On his third day, Tom took on the longest and the most draining stretch of his Red Nose Day challenge yet, as he pushed his body to the absolute limit by, cycling for 15 hours through strong winds, heavy fog and relentless rain, covering 130-miles, from Southampton to Bovey Castle in the Dartmoor National Park.
Finally, Tom was joined at the start line this morning by 50 members of the Plymouth Rock Choir to bring a sense of celebration to the final morning of Tom’s Hell of a Homecoming challenge and lift his spirits before he faced the longest run of his life by far. Before starting his training for the challenge, Tom had only ever completed a 10K run and even in the weeks during his training, he had only been able to push himself to cover 18miles once, until now.