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This Red Nose Day, national hero and diving superstar Tom Daley took on an epic endurance challenge as he rowed, cycled, swam and ran his way from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford to his hometown of Plymouth for one hell of a homecoming – all to raise money for life-changing projects supported by Comic Relief.
Over 4 days Tom swam in freezing cold open waters, cycled some of the nation’s toughest routes into gusting winds, rowed down the choppy Thames and completed an ultra-marathon as he made his way back home. This Red Nose Day challenge pushed Tom to his absolute limits and further out of his comfort zone than ever before.
When Tom finally reached the finish line he said: “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.”
Catch all of the drama from Tom’s epic challenge on BBC iPlayer(opens in new window).
Along the route, Tom visited some very special places close to his heart, joined by friends, family and fellow Olympians. It was incredibly tough and the encouragement he received along the way meant so much as he took on this challenge. Tom would love it if you could show your support by making a donation to help communities across the UK and around the world live free from poverty, violence and discrimination.
Daley Challenge - Option 2
ROW 6 MILES AND CYCLE 60 MILES
Tom’s challenge started at the Olympic Park in Stratford where his late dad’s ashes are placed at the foot of the diving board. He faced freezing temperatures whilst rowing, and capsizing, on the River Thames before cycling 60 miles from the Tower of London, to Reading. He battled blustery conditions and the onslaught of fatigue to keep pushing through the final miles with legendary Olympian Sir Steve Redgrave meeting Tom at the finish line.
SWIM 1,000 METRES AND CYCLE 63 MILES
Tom started day two with a freezing open water swim in windy conditions at the Redgrave Pinsent Lake. The afternoon saw Tom face a 63-mile cycle to Southampton where he arrived exhausted to a cheering crowd showing their support.
CYCLE 130 MILES
Tom tackled the longest stage of his challenge as he cycled for more than 12 hours, covering 130 miles and climbing over 3000 feet, from Southampton to Bovey Castle in Dartmoor National Park whilst battling strong winds, heavy fog and relentless rain.
RUN 30 MILES
Exhausted and emotional - Tom faced a tough fourth and final day as he took on an ultra marathon to complete his Hell of a Homecoming challenge and crossed the finish line to a cheering home crowd.
Olympic gold medallist Tom Daley is Team GB’s most decorated diver of all time, with 11 World, Commonwealth and European Championship gold medals and four Olympic medals. He earned his first gold medal at Tokyo 2020 in the 10m synchro alongside his diving partner Matty Lee.
Becoming a first-time parent with his husband Dustin Lance Black in 2018, Tom captured the hearts of the world at the Tokyo Olympics with his knitted creations, something he describes as the perfect form of mindfulness in between competing - self-proclaiming his success for Team Great Knittin'. Tom was made an OBE in the 2022 New Year Honours for his work as a human rights activist and an LGBTQ+ campaigner.
Suppliers who have kindly provided kit and equipment:
Adidas, Canyon, Swift Boats, HUUB, Spatz, Regatta, Sealskinz, Dryrobe, Bumpaa, Crewroom, Zwift, Garmin, Concept 2.
British Rowing, Southwark Park Athletics Centre, Surrey Docks Watersports Centre, Hackney Council – Britannia Leisure Centre and West Reservoir, Canal & River Trust, Port of London Authority, London Aquatics Centre, Redgrave & Pinsent Rowing Centre, The Quays Swimming & Diving Complex, Bovey Castle, Plymouth City Council, YMU Group, Carver PR, Metropolitan Police Service Film Unit.