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Last Updated: Friday, 7 March 2008, 14:27 GMT
Rise to the challenge for Sport Relief



David Walliams and James Cracknell celebrate after swimming the Straits of Gibraltar
David Walliams and James Cracknell celebrate after their swim

James Cracknell and David Walliams have completed their Sport Relief swim across the Straits of Gibraltar.

The duo completed the treacherous 12 Mile swim from Spain to Morocco in just four hours 36 minutes and 45 seconds.

David Walliams was sick in the water during the swim and the pair spotted dolphins and pilot whales on their way.

Cracknell said: "Words can't express how satisfied, pleased, overwhelmed and exhausted I am now it's all over - I really hope we raise a lot of money."

The swim was the last leg of James Cracknell's cross-continent challenge which saw him row the Channel and cycle through France and Spain in just 10 days.

The ultimate aim of his challenge is to raise as much money as possible and you can show your support for him by making a donation to Sport Relief.

Support James Cracknell in his amazing Sport Relief challenge

Cracknell continued: "I'm so happy to have helped raise so much money for such a good cause. And of course, I'm over the moon to have set a brand new World Record.

"I've managed to burn an incredible 60,000 calories and slept for just 50 hours in the last 10 days. I've also spent more than 108 hours in the saddle.

"So I'm hoping this is going to be a tough one to beat and I get to hang on to my World Record for a while!"

The water temperature at the mouth of the Mediterranean was a chilly 12 degrees centigrade and the boys will be glad that they were wearing wetsuits.

Cracknell's adventure started from Dover on Wednesday 27 February when he rowed across the English Channel in atrocious weather conditions in just over six hours.

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He then jumped straight into the saddle and began his epic 1,400 mile cycle from northern France to southern Spain.

He cycled into Tarifa, after completing the second leg of his Herculean Sport Relief challenge in only seven days.

The double Olympic gold medallist is making his way from the UK to Africa under his own steam and has completed 1460 miles so far on his epic quest.

The ultimate aim of his challenge is to raise as much money as possible and you can show your support for him by making a donation to Sport Relief.

Walliams famously swam the English Channel and raised 1m for Sport Relief in 2006.

The 36-year-old Little Britain star said, although the distance is shorter than the Channel, there would be other problems to face.

"It's colder and there's sharks in it and also the sea's a lot rougher, so I think it's going to be a very challenging swim," he said.

Cracknell battles against the waves during his Channel crossing
Cracknell battles against the waves during his Channel crossing

After rowing the English Channel in just over six hours last Wednesday, Cracknell spent seven long days in the saddle.

He cycled for up to 20 hours a day and managed a magnificent 300 miles on day three alone.

His route saw him pass Rouen, Le Mans, and Bordeaux before crossing the Spanish border to San Sebastian.

From here James climbed up through Navarra, past Madrid and down through Andalucia to the Straits of Gibraltar and his final stop in Europe - Isla de Tarifa.

He has gone from the north of France to the south of Spain in just over seven days battling the twin pests of punctures and the Pyranees en-route.

The challenge started in dramatic fashion as he capsized his modified coastal scull just metres into the first leg of his amazing challenge.

Sir Steve Redgrave joked on BBC Breakfast: "he has started his swim a little bit too early".

But Redgrave added that his gold medal-winning team-mate had done very well to complete the crossing.

"The water conditions were extremely difficult, it was choppy to say the least, so he did really well."

Cracknell spoke to this website before his departure and explained the reasons for his extraordinary efforts.

Cracknell counts up how many miles he has left with a look of horror on his face
How many more mile?!

"It will be the most intense and testing week of exercise I have ever done, but the motivation is absolutely huge.

"It's not like the Olympics where you are doing it for yourself, the big motivation is that you are doing it for others.

"The point I am trying to make is that Africa is not far away - if I can get there in a week or so, it will show people that these problems are not a million miles away from us.

"The best thing about Sport Relief is that you can help them and get yourself fit and healthy at the same time."

This year the big Sport Relief buzz word is 'challenge' and the idea is to do something sporty to raise cash.

The ultimate way to get involved is to take part in one of the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Miles which are happening across the UK on 16 March.

This year, participants can set their own challenge by having the choice of completing one, three or six miles.

There will be well over 200 Sport Relief Miles around the UK, so there is bound to be one close to you.

All you have to do now is sign up and start getting yourself sponsored.



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