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British Athletics are joining forces with British Cycling and British Rowing and iconic BBC children’s television show Blue Peter to run, cycle and row the distance from Manchester to Tokyo in just 30 days.
Officially launching today [May 28], the ‘Train Your Way to Tokyo’ challenge will see Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell team up with athletes from athletics, cycling and rowing to cover the 9948km distance from the Blue Peter studio in Salford to the Japan National Stadium in Tokyo.
Averaging at over 300km a day across the 30 days, Lindsey will try her hand at all three sports and get an insight into how Olympic and Paralympic athletes are currently training. She will combine her total with the athletes taking part, all completing the challenge from inside their own homes or outdoors within the current government guidance.
Lindsey will be mentored by five-time European champion Laura Muir for the running part of the challenge while British teammates Charlotte Purdue, Melissa Courtney-Bryant, Callum Hawkins, Oliver Dustin, Alex Botterill and Derek Rae among others are counting their kilometres covered in training over the 30-day period towards the overall total. From cycling, Olympic and world champion Elinor Barker is acting as a mentor to Lindsey as is Paralympic and world champion from rowing, Lauren Rowles.
The group effort is running until June 16 with the final film being shown on Blue Peter on June 18 at 17:30 on CBBC and iPlayer. The 2020 Sport Badge was designed by a Blue Peter viewer to celebrate the Olympic Games in Tokyo. To earn a sport badge, kids aged 6-15 must try a new way of getting active.
Laura Muir, five-time European champion, said: “It is great to be supporting Lindsey as part of Blue Peter’s ‘Train Your Way to Tokyo’ challenge. I loved the show when I was growing up and so jumped at the opportunity to take part. It was so exciting to receive the new Blue Peter badge and I hope everyone watching can learn something along the way. I’ll be contributing my normal training miles as part of the challenge and I am excited to be offering my support and tips and advice to Lindsey – I have no doubt she will do a fantastic job.”
Olympic and world champion Elinor Barker said: “I’m enjoying being part of the Train Your way to Tokyo challenge with Blue Peter and already in our first week, myself and my Great Britain Cycling Team teammates have clocked up a good number of kilometres in training to help Lindsey on her way. Hopefully, we will help to inspire the audience to take up more activity themselves especially as we’re in this difficult period of lockdown.”
Paralympic and world champion Lauren Rowles MBE said: “I’m incredibly excited to be part of the Train Your Way to Tokyo challenge with Blue Peter and our friends at British Cycling and British Athletics. During these tough times it’s more important than ever for kids and parents to stay active and I hope this challenge inspires them to get involved in sport and take on new challenges”.
Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell said: “Though I’ve completed many Blue Peter challenges, I’ve never taken on a multisport challenge quite like this. It’s daunting but I can’t wait to train with these incredible athletes and hopefully show what can be achieved by working together, all from our own homes.”