Today was the day this adventure would end. Even if we had to crawl to the end, we were going to finish this today. We just had too much Criminal Minds to catch up on back in Cardiff. I woke hoping that I would be feeling much better than I was yesterday evening. I was shocked! The pain in my legs was still very present along with an aching stomach. The blisters on my feet had also gotten worse. The only positive was that we had dry clothes. But our shoes and socks were soaking wet.

I had a toss up between walking to the breakfast barefoot and warm, but looking like Frodo Baggins from the Lord of the Rings, or I could wear my wet shoes. I wanted to go barefoot, but Caitriona wouldn’t allow me. Down to breakfast we went, walking like two wounded penguins with wet shoes on.

After breakfast we chilled out in the room and watched the first bit of TV in 18-days. This is no joke! I have not watched TV since the 1st of June. I didn’t miss it either.

We got a taxi back to Oldbury where we finished the walk yesterday, and set off once again. The first Severn Bridge looked very close straight away, which made us feel really good early on. Once we went past this first bridge, the second Severn Bridge was also quite close. As we were walking towards this last bridge, we both couldn’t help but talk about how sad it is going to be to finish this adventure. It had been such a great adventure, but now it was coming to an inevitable end.

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First Severn Bridge in the background

As we were approaching the second Severn crossing bridge, I had to stop and think about how far we came. I was travelling over that bridge a lot in the weeks running up to this adventure, as I was training in the River Severn just up past Gloucester. Now we were going under the bridge in an effort to finish this adventure.

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Thinking back at how far we’d come

Once we went past the bridge, we could see Severn Beach. We made our way down to the beach. We had made it! 18-days and 360km later, we made it. I started at the Source of the River Severn on the 1st of June in Mid Wales. From the 4th of June to the 16th of June, I swam 240km, averaging 18.5km/day, without taking any days off. Now I was standing at the finish line on the 18th of June with the love of my life, Caitriona Hurley.

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I couldn’t have done it without Caitriona

She had done so much on this trip. Every morning when we woke up, we didn’t know where we were going to be staying that evening. Caitriona sorted us out every time. She was the wheeler-dealer of the trip, and constantly asked for free accommodation, and succeeded every time. She was the backbone of the team, and I couldn’t have done this without her. Thanks Caitriona your a star!

Final Message:
One of my main aims of this trip was to hopefully inspire other people to undertake their own adventures. My words to you:

Plan it, Prepare for it, Go for it and Don’t look back

You won’t know what you are truly capable of until you put yourself in a very tough situation, whether its physically or mentally tough or both. You can do what you want, and don’t leave anyone tell you otherwise. I had loads of people telling me about how dangerous the whole River Severn is. They were right some of the time, but with the right planning and preparation, we got there in the end. Never underestimate your ability as a human being to endure extreme challenges. You’d be surprised what your capable of.

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360km later…..

What Next???
I have a few future adventures up my sleeve including swimming across Scotland from Inverness to Fort William and swimming the length of Ireland from Malin Head to Mizen Head along the east coast of Ireland. The planning of these will start in a few weeks/months. But for now, I’m wrecked, and I have a nice springy mattress under my back, so I’m off to sleep.

Thanks for following and best of luck with your own endeavours.

Charity:
So far we have raised about £1,600 for MND. I have a target of £2,500 and I would love to reach that target. If people would like to donate, you can do so by visiting my Just Giving page, it’s really simple to do. All monies will go directly to Motor Neurone Disease Association.

//www.justgiving.com/fundraising/RossOSullivan

Summary:
Start Location: Oldbury
End Location: Severn Beach
Distance travelled: 13km
Exercise Duration: 3hr:21mins
GPS Track: //connect.garmin.com/modern/profile/RossSwims

Day 18 – River Severn Adventure (The END)