TWO men who ran and cycled from Bristol to York say they hope to have raised almost £5,000 for charity.

Former professional rugby player Brian Gabriel and Nick Johnson, from Kelfield, both work for Aviva took part in the six-day challenge to raise money for the NSPCC.

Nick, who works at the Aviva offices in York, was driven to the end point each morning, before cycling to the start and back again - effectively covering double the distance Brian covered.

Nick said: “It’s been quite challenging. Brian basically ran 210 miles, eight marathons in a few days, it’s been just relentless and a lot hillier than I expected.

“To be fair, it was quite good because a number of people stopped us on the way and donated money as we were going past, it has been amazing.”

Money is still coming in but so far, the pair have raised more than £3,300, another £800 in Gift Aid, and Aviva is expected to donate about another £500 - meaning they could be on track to raise up to £5,000.

Brian said: “For me, the hardest point was Tuesday, but I can’t remember exactly where we were - Derby, I think. It was really quite a long day and just a bad day.

“The miles didn’t seem to be going by at all, my feet were hurting and just about as close as I got to saying ‘I’m done with it’. I got up on Wednesday though, with 35 miles to do on that day. I didn’t feel too bad because the end was in sight.”

Nick said: “Every morning was bad for me. I basically drove to the end point, cycled back and then to the end point again, and the mornings did my head in.”

Brian was back at work yesterday (FRI), and said this challenge was tougher than his previous fundraising efforts, which included the Brighton marathon and other long-distance events.

He said: “This was by a bit tougher than the Marathon des Sables. It was longer for a start, 60 to 70 miles over the same period of time and just wo of us battling traffic, reading maps, not knowing where you are - but you know it’s not Morocco.”

Both men said they wanted to thank everyone who had sponsored them so far, and everyone who supported them along the way. Sponsorship is still open at