Challenge Gary

Gary is nil by mouth and totally fuelled by enteral nutrition.
Gary is not only a PINNT Ambassador but also an executive committee member. He has a habit of taking on challenges to not only raise awareness of enteral tube feeding but also PINNT. Last year he did the 373 off-road cycle challenge during HAN Week. Read on to find out about his challenge for 2021!
Coast to Coast Kayaking
This year ‘Challenge Gary’ has been late in coming due to deciding which challenge to do, however, the kayak coast to coast has finally been selected. This challenge came to light when my friend Danny Brooks wanted to do something for PINNT. Knowing I try new challenges each year he mentioned what he had in mind and I jumped at the chance to join in as it’s been over 35 years since I have been in a canoe. It is not only kayaking eight hours a day but having to get in and out of the canoe to get past all the locks on route. I may have to stop to do bolus feeding, this will have to be worked out during my training.
I am looking at how to keep my button area clean in case I end up in the canal! You never know what will happen. If this does happen then at some point I will need dry clothes. What I have been advised is to carry some spare clothes in a dry bag which will fit into a compartment within the canoe along with my food, water and medication. Yes, don’t worry the canoe will have the room as taking on advice from the experts - the size of the canoe will be around 12ft or 14ft long with compartments at the rear for storage.


The Journey
Route: Liverpool (on the west coast) to Goole (on the east coast), via Halifax.
Starting point: Mersey Docks (Liverpool) then onto Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Leigh Branch, Bridgewater Canal, Manchester Ship Canal, Rochdale Canal, Calder and Hebble Navigation, Wakefield Branch, Aire and Calder Navigation Main Line finishing at Near Lemonroyd Lock (Goole).
Route Distance: 140 miles (according to
Estimated Timeline: 140 (number of miles) divided by 3 (mph – realistic speed) = 46 (total number of hours to complete route).  Divided by 8.36 (planned daily paddle time) = 5.5 (total number of days to complete route).
Gary says they will be staying in hotels on the odd occasion but mainly we will travel home and then travel back to where we ended the previous day. This is possible with the support from Danny’s father who has a trailer to carry the canoes plus storage at his house for these overnight. This may change once we have a full understanding from the experts after further meetings and training with them.
We are looking into the idea of some filming with a drone along with some live video steaming - we want to consider all options – we will share more on this before the event.

How do I feel about this challenge? Well, I am slightly nervous due to the amount of time getting in and out of the canoe, but if I didn’t feel nervous then something would not be right! It’s good to feel nervous about trying something new; so, if anyone is thinking of trying out a new challenge (and I don’t mean the extreme ones I do), then please let PINNT know about it and give us an update, it would be great to hear from you and maybe we could put your own challenge into the next Online newsletter after HAN week.
I will try and get some videos of my training, which may show how good or bad it’s going; these will appear on PINNT’s Facebook page. Watch this space for more updates.
If anyone has any questions about this challenge please get in touch and I will try and answer them before or during my challenge. Email me at
My fundraising for the event for PINNT is:


Latest News

HAN Week 2024 locked

HAN Week 2024

Read More
Nominations open! locked

Nominations open!

Read More
Bristol meeting locked

Bristol meeting

Read More
2000k to Rome locked

2000k to Rome

Read More