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Ramsbottom friends drive 3,500 miles in 10 days
FOUR best friends proved they have drive and determination by completing a gruelling 3,514-mile car journey across 12 countries, raising more than £9,000.
Earlier this summer, Ramsbottom brothers Rob and Paul Birkett undertook the ambitious tour for Crohn’s and Colitis UK after Rob’s life-altering diagnosis of Crohn’s disease in 2007.
Joined by pals Adam Anderson, from Ramsbottom, and Mark Johns, from Leigh, the foursome took to the road in a 2008 Renault Megane, sleeping for just 26 hours and raising £9,230 in total.
Rob, 32, of Stanford Hall Crescent, said: “We planned something almost impossible, to drive across 10 countries in seven days in a car we wouldn’t normally trust to get us to work and back.
“But despite our fears, we actually achieved so much more. Due to some questionable navigating we managed to cover 12 countries in seven days, all without the car skipping a beat.”
Web designer Rob and his friends drove through France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic before finishing the rally in Amsterdam.
The charity rally was originally planned to celebrate his remission from Crohn’s, with the past seven years seeing him undergo 13 operations and the removal of his entire bowel. But while Rob was determined to complete the rally, on arrival in Germany he felt so ill he was worried he would not be able to continue.
He said: “On a personal level, the biggest achievement was not giving up when I got ill. I was immensely proud of my friends as they really looked after me and without them I couldn’t have completed it.”
Trouble struck again during a difficult drive from Germany to Switzerland, which saw the team climb 9,000ft and descend 5,000ft to get to their destination.
Rob added: “After 30 minutes of descending at an average speed of eight miles per hour, we realised our brakes were hot and after stopping found our rear passenger side was on fire. After using the fire extinguisher, we had to stop every 10 minutes to pour water on our brakes while ensuring they didn’t crack.”
The team had their car donated by CSL Sofas and Moorgate Kitchens assisted.
For more information go to 3500challenge.co.uk
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