Medics tackle kayak challenge
TWO cardiac consultants from the Spire Bristol Hospital have tackled one of the world's most gruelling kayak challenges to raise funds for a heart charity.
Dr Mark Hamilton and Dr Mark Turner completed the Yukon 360 Race in Canada covering 91 miles in the wilderness of the Yukon territory of Canada without external support. They finished the race on August 19 in 4th place.
With no roads anywhere near the course, once started they were committed to completing the course.
They managed to finish in two days spending a night on an island in the middle of the river. Bears, mosquitos and wolves were all potential problems.
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They were raising money for SADS, Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (www.sads.org.uk) a charity which aims to reduce instances of cardiac death by funding vital defibrillators for public places.
Mr Turner said: "The Yukon is a well-known for both adventure racing and canoeing, and we wanted to take up the challenge of the Yukon 360 to gain experience in that environment.
"Racing in the wilderness with no back-up is a new experience for us and we were pleased to cross the finish line without getting eaten by a bear."
The cardiac specialists work together at the Spire Bristol Hospital where Mr Hamilton is a cardiac radiologist and Mark Turner is an interventional cardiologist. The hospital supported the pair in their fundraising.
Mr Hamilton said: "A tiring but satisfying experience for us both. "Paddling an unfamiliar boat was physically demanding and we hope the event will inspire people to support SADS."
Both men will be involved in the new Cardiac Catheter Laboratory at Spire Bristol and will use the new facility to extend the services and support they offer to patients.