A courageous Monmouth team which pushed themselves to the limit in a pedalo on Loch Ness is celebrating after raising more than £2,000 for Cancer Research Wales and setting three world records.
Tim Walker, Adrian and Angus Whitehead and Angus’ godfather, Nick Roberts-Wearing, pedalled the length of the famous Scottish Loch in memory of Monmouth School for Boys’ pupil, Tom Walker, on Saturday 28th September.
It was a remarkable effort from the team which competed in Monster the Loch in gruelling conditions to raise funds for a PhD studentship, named in Tom's memory, into acute myeloid leukaemia.
Setting off from Fort Augustus, the team gave its all and eventually arrived at the finish in Dores – a 22.7-mile distance - almost eight hours later.
The team was cheered on by Angela and Ailsa Whitehead, Debbie, Holly and Emily Walker and former Monmouth School for Girls' student, Katie Cameron.
“It was a fantastic effort from four brave and courageous people and they completed the distance in seven hours and 50 minutes,” said Angela Whitehead, who was the brains behind the challenge.
“This was one of the most inspiring and emotional days. It was an epic journey over the world’s most famous loch.
“It was harder than anything physically they had ever done before but they kept going and encouraged each other every second of their incredible journey.”
She added: “Monmouth School for Boys' pupil, Angus, at 17, has become the youngest person to row a pedalo the length of Loch Ness, while the team also became the oldest crew in total (184 years) to cross the length of Loch Ness in a pedalo.
“And to cap it all off, the team is the first charity pedalo fundraising team to complete the whole length of Loch Ness.”
On hearing Tom’s story, the crowd donated £260 and, with Gift Aid, the epic challenge has raised more than £2,000 for the research fund.
Last year, Angus Whitehead was part of a school crew from Monmouth School for Boys which rowed in the maiden Monster the Loch event and raised almost £3,000 for Cancer Research Wales.
Tom Walker, 13, from Devauden, was a pupil at Monmouth School for Boys when he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in June 2018.
Tragically, he failed to recover from an operation required to start treatment into the condition and he died the day after the diagnosis.
Research students can now apply for a three-year Tom Walker Cancer Wales PhD Studentship for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia after Tom’s family, friends and the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools’ community united to raise £100,000 in just 11 months.
Fund-raising is continuing and to support the Loch Ness pedalo challenge, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/monsterthelochfortom