A FORMER Malham man is in training for the endurance test of his life as he aims to smash three world records in one go.

Sam Boatwright, a maths teacher in Bradford who now lives in Silsden, will take on the testing ‘epic triathlon’ next July when he attempts to swim 21 miles across the English Channel in less than six hours, 57 minutes and 50 seconds.

He’ll then get on his bike and cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats, a distance of 854 miles along his chosen route which he wants to complete in under 43 hours, 25 minutes and 13 seconds.

Not stopping there, he then sets off to run back to Land’s End along the same route and with the aim of finishing in under 218 hours and 26 minutes - a total of nine days, two hours and 26 minutes.

A challenge to set world records in each discipline back-to-back like this has never been undertaken before but Mr Boatwright has a good track record with endurance challenges.

In 2012 he was dubbed the ‘epic runner’ as he ran 50 miles every day for 50 days.

Then in 2017, he crossed America in 32 days, consecutively cycling 150 miles one day and running 50 the next covering 3,000 miles.

The journey took him through 14 states and brought his fundraising total for Help for Heroes to £30,000.

From running through a gangland standoff in New York City, to meeting a couple doing their shopping on lawnmowers and ending with his wedding in Las Vegas to his wife, Kerry, who he met at a gym in Skipton, the journey was epic in every way.

He does the challenges with the backing of his wife and his family who still live in Malham.

Kerry said after his successful challenge across America: “I was worried at first about Sam and the effect it would have on his health and his body, but on that last day at the end of Santa Monica Pier I couldn’t have been prouder of what he had achieved.”

Mr Boatwright, who joined the forces at the age of 16 and who is also an author and motivational speaker, explained what pushing the limits means to him.

“Leaving school with just a single GCSE, I’m now a full-time maths teacher at St Bedes and St Joseph’s Catholic College, in Bradford,” he said.

“Ever since I changed the course of my own life, I’ve been driven to share the message – with my pupils and with anyone facing challenges, difficult times or their own self-doubt – that anything really is possible.

“I have always wanted to inspire as a teacher. I couldn’t think of a more visible way of showing that you can disregard limits set by other people or your circumstances, that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to - even when no one believes you can do it but you.

“Setting the world record in all three disciplines is going to be gruelling and unbelievably hard. If I complete all three, I would be the first person ever to do so back-to-back.

“The people who hold these records are the elite, and yes I’m ‘just’ a maths teacher. I suppose I could stop there, admit defeat and not even attempt it. But that’s just not me. I have to have something to push for.

“My aim is to show that with hard work and dedication you can overcome anything.

Mr Boatwright has a keen following on social media who encourage him as well as high-profile supporter comedian John Bishop.

With more people climbing Everest each year than swimming the Channel, the stakes are high. As always, the more money he raises for charity along the way, the better. This time it will be in aid of Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen Families Association (SSAFA).

It hasn’t all been plain sailing and there has been occasion in the past when he has had to pull out of a World Record cycle attempt of Land’s End to John O’Groats.

“This one’s for my nemesis. It’s for the weight of despair I felt when I had to stop in 2015, by the roadside.

“This one’s for anyone who’s ever felt out-faced, overwhelmed and on their own. Circumstances might limit us, but as always it’s the courage we have to keep facing our challenges that counts.”

Mr Boatwright recently held a talk at Skipton Town Hall:”In Conversation with Sam Boatwright - NYC to LA” where he spoke about his epic adventure and what pushing himself to the limit means to him.”

For the challenge he needs to raise around £10,000. Anyone wishing to sponsor Mr Boatwright can do so via his website: https://www.samboatwright.com