In the summer of 2015, I got the call for adventure when a friend of mine, Kev Brady, announced he was going to attempt to become the first person to swim the entire length of the River Severn - the UK’s longest river. He had asked me if i’d be free to join him for a slot of the journey, as he needed at least 2 people on the water with him at all times. As it was, he was also looking for someone to go the whole way with him, to which sounded too good an offer to pass up! I’d managed to get the time off work and it was set to be a grand journey. It also meant seeing the entire river atop my paddleboard.
Kev was doing the swim to raise money for Superhero Foundation, a charity he co-founded to help families, raising funds for inaccessible medical treatments, with the aim to relieve mental or physical illnesses. The charity is focused around people taking a personal challenge mixed with the element of giving back.
The journey was 223 miles long, starting from the source of the River Severn, on the slopes of Plynlimon in Mid Wales. From there, it was around 45 miles walking to reach a point where the water became deep enough to swim and paddleboard, in Welshpool.
Life was spent on the water from there on out, camping mostly for the first half. On our first night outdoors, Kev left his damp wetsuit outside, only to find at 6am that it was engulfed by a layer of frost. We had to warm it up by a fire to make it wearable, it was a great opener to the hardships Kev would face in the following month.
My dad was also involved in supporting the trip, his wealth of knowledge in adventure-planning and logistics proved invaluable, especially when it came to camp-craft! I felt I learned a lot from that pleasure of working together.
It was an absolute honor to be apart of this trip. It was a true show of the power of human kindness, we had so many people come out and put serious effort into supporting Kev and his cause. The level of support was astounding, shown by the surpass of the target donations by £8,000, the running total coming to £18,000, online and offline.
During the trip, alongside Kev's daily blog, I made a video every day, chronicling the journey and hopefully inspiring others in the process. You can find all the videos here: https://www.facebook.com/kevbradyadventures/videos