One of the challenges that Mark Starling has set himself this year is to kayak 125 miles from Wiltshire to London in the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race starting on Good Friday (29th March) 2013. His best mate, James Phillipson has been persuaded to be his trusted partner in their two man kayak.

Deemed to be one of the top 30 endurance races in the world, this is a gruelling river course which includes 77 portages (where the kayak must be carried over land). The race has been held annually over the Easter weekend since 1948 and is a severe test of both skill and stamina, which produces a memorable sense of achievement on completion.

The four-day race covers 52 miles of the Kennet and Avon Canal to Reading and a further 55 miles on the River Thames to Teddington. The final 17 miles of the route along the Thames is tidal, and the race finishes downstream of the Houses of Parliament.

All money raised from this race will go directly to COINS Foundation projects and donations can be made online at Support can also be pledged by emailing