Browse content similar to Lindsey's Epic Sport Relief Challenge. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
This year Sport Relief 2016 is going to be huge,
and we wanted to do something epic to inspire you to get involved.
So I'm going to attempt to run across that - the Irish Sea.
I'll need to train harder than I've ever trained before,
working with an elite team of specialists.
Keep driving, keep driving.
Can I conquer the sea and find a way to walk on water?
Can I become the wave runner?
Sport Relief has raised over £260 million for good causes,
both here in the UK and abroad.
And this year, we want you to walk, run, swim or cycle yourself proud
with Blue Peter.
So to get you in Sport Relief spirit,
we wanted to do something so tough that it's never been done before.
And back in September,
we came up with the idea of running 20 miles across the Irish Sea.
So, running on water. How's that going to work?
Yeah, not like that.
One way would be to use one of these - a Zorb.
A giant ball full of air that can be used on land or water.
'Perfect. Challenge sorted!'
I'm going to run the Irish Sea...
Whoa, whoa, whoa!
Er... Yeah, this is a lot trickier than it looks.
Do you know what, guys? This isn't going to work.
I think we're going to need some help.
What I need is a team of elite engineers who can take a Zorb ball
and turn it into a souped-up sea-crossing machine.
Meet brothers Grant and James,
who've been building inventions since they were 12.
I'm excited to be here because I am used to Blue Peter makes,
but this one is kind of the make to end all makes, isn't it?
What are we dealing with?
Well, somehow, we've got to propel you across the water,
so we've come up with this design for you.
-Can I have a look?
-Yeah. Here we go.
SHE GASPS Awesome!
Do you know what? That's not at all what I was expecting.
It makes me really want to physically see it.
Fortunately we've got a little mock-up for you.
-What a treat!
-Here it is.
-Here's a 1/20th scale of the model that you'll be in.
I was going to say, it needs to be a bit bigger than that.
So the plan is to build a frame around the inflatable ball
which will have paddles on it.
The paddles will help the structure move through the water
and allow me to control it.
Grant uses his drill to demonstrate how it should work.
I see. OK, so with paddles,
I'm actually going to travel across the water, aren't I?
Yes, exactly. This pushes the water out the way.
-I can see that.
-Or, in effect, pushes you along.
I'm really excited. You guys have got loads of work to do here.
-I've got even more to do in the gym. Thank you very much.
I can't wait to see you next time.
-See you soon.
-Thanks, guys. I'll start the training now.
This world-first challenge
is tougher than anything I've attempted before.
It could take up to 15 hours,
and that means I need to be seriously fit.
So back in October, I met sport scientist Greg Whyte.
He trained David Walliams and Davina McCall
for their incredible Sport Relief challenges.
And two years ago, he prepared me for my gruelling mountain marathon.
So today's really all about Lindsey's overall fitness.
It's about her heart, her lungs, it's about her aerobic capacity,
and it's about her strength in preparation for this challenge.
'Greg uses special equipment to measure how fit I am.'
Keep driving it now.
That's good. Very nice indeed.
'I'll be facing 20 miles of freezing open water.'
Keep driving, keep driving, keep driving.
Let's go, let's go, let's go. We're not stopping yet.
'So Greg needs to know exactly what my body can handle.'
The nice thing for you is that you've got an engine.
But, basically, what we need to do is actually fine-tune that.
-Particularly for this challenge.
-There you were pushing out about 160 watts.
We need that much, much higher, so you've got to be really strong.
And in that Zorb, you've got to be really strong.
I don't know how I'm going to do this. Oh!
Greg puts together an intensive training plan
designed to turn me into the wave runner.
Over the next four months,
I'll build up to running a staggering six hours in one go.
Meanwhile, our engineers begin putting together
my wave running machine, hand-building every single piece.
It's literally one-of-a-kind.
There's a lot of hard work
and late nights go in to actually building it,
but once you actually see the thing finished
and you see it in action, it's going to really pay off.
By December, it's time to test this incredible machine on water
for the first time.
I have no idea what to expect.
I've got to say, I'm feeling quite nervous this morning.
Oh, my goodness! It's over there.
It looks awesome.
But it looks absolutely huge. I did not expect that.
It really does look like a spaceship.
That is now my best friend.
This has just made the challenge very real.
'It looks amazing. I just want to get inside.
'But I'm not sure how.'
I'll push off the boat. Ahh!
-Oh, wow. This is not what I expected.
-It's not that big, is it?
OK, this is officially my first time in the Zorb,
and cos it's my first time,
I want to show you what it's like in here.
Have a look at this. That is going to be my view for hours and hours.
OK, first ever steps I'm going to try and take.
Wait, what do I do?
Walk a big step forward and use your hands as well.
-Just keep going.
-Oh, my goodness!
'It takes a while to get going and, at first, I am struggling.'
'But I slowly start to work out a technique...'
Yay! '..to get me moving.'
My first ever steps of this whole challenge.
Ah! It's so wet!
Oh! Do you know what?
That is so much tougher than I thought it was going to be.
And it's wet in there, it's claustrophobic,
it's hard to breathe, it's hard to even make the ball move.
I think there's going to have to be a lot of changes made...
-..if that's going to work.
We're going to have to go back to the workshop and see what we can do.
And I've got to get back to that gym.
I didn't know how much arm strength that was going to take.
It's worrying. It is really scary, this challenge.
Getting on the water for the first time has been a real eye-opener.
It's clear my training has to change.
So far, I've been working on my legs,
but now I know I'll rely just as much on my arms.
This is horrible.
'If I'm to run over 20 miles across the sea,
'I need to hit the gym virtually every day...'
-Good to go?
'..doing exercises that build up every muscle in my body.'
I feel sick.
'And that means pushing myself harder than I ever have before.
'So that's me, but what about my wave running machine?
'It's time for its next test - sea conditions.
'But we're not quite ready for the open ocean yet.'
If I'm going to be a wave runner, I'm going to need waves.
That's why I've come here to the RNLI Sea Survival Centre.
You know what? I think I've found my waves.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution
is the charity that saves lives at sea.
Their teams of highly trained volunteers
have rescued over 141,000 people.
Today, their lifeguards are helping us to understand
how my ball will react to open water
in this special pool which mimics the sea.
We're hoping to see what happens with wavy conditions
and things like that, and see if the ball capsizes or not.
Hopefully, fingers crossed, it's all OK.
So, this is it. First time with the wave machine on.
I'm really bobbing up and down now.
'Already, the difference to calm water is incredible,
'and I've got to move in this.'
OK, here we go. Whaa! It's moving.
I am all over the place. Ah!
'It's so tough to keep my balance,
'and these waves are only one metre high.'
Oh, my goodness!
'I manage to get to the end of the pool,
'but it's really taken it out of me.'
Do you know what? That was near impossible.
Those one-metre waves are tough,
and if it was like that for the real challenge,
it's not happening.
'And that's not all.
'Part of my challenge could take place at night,
'so it's time to turn the lights out.'
This is terrifying.
'I can barely see where I'm going,
'but I somehow manage a length of the pool.'
The RNLI test has shown us we are far from ready for the sea.
So whilst the engineers return the wave runner to the workshop
for further improvements, it's back to the gym for me.
And a few weeks later, we're ready to train on the water again.
So, here we go.
'At first, I feel like I'm doing OK.
'But then the winds pick up
'and it makes it really hard for me to keep my rhythm.'
'Try as I might, I just can't keep it going.'
I'm so tired!
'And the frustration really gets to me.'
I just thought today was going to be a lot easier than it is.
I'm drenched in there, and cold, and I can't get it to go.
I don't see how I'm meant to get from one country to another in that.
Doesn't seem possible.
I'm at an all-time low,
so the Sport Relief team arranged for me to meet one of my heroes -
TV presenter Davina McCall.
In 2014, Davina ran, swam and cycled
an incredible 500 miles for Sport Relief.
How did she find the strength to keep going?
I ask her over a cup of tea.
I found I had a lot more in me than I thought I did,
and that's been an amazing journey for me.
I think that's quite a cool thing to discover, isn't it?
Why do we do Sport Relief?
I think I've just been to see some amazing projects
and I've seen the difference that it makes.
If you help one person, then they grow up having a better life,
and they can, in turn, help others, and help others,
-and it's like a mushroom effect.
So when we're raising... or you're raising money at home,
all of it goes to good causes.
And it really, massively makes a difference.
And that's what keeps me going.
-Really, really, really good luck.
-We'll be thinking of you.
Will you come with me and do it for me?
-No. OK, that's fine.
Meeting Davina has genuinely inspired me.
So it's back to the water to give it another go.
I dig deep and remember Davina's words.
Slowly but surely, step by step, I'm starting to find my rhythm.
Finally, after two months, I am wave running.
You're flying, Lindsey. Fast as ever.
I actually got quite into it then.
I managed to just switch off and just go into wave runner mode.
It's quite nice. Everything feels possible.
It's now early February, and less than a month until my challenge.
My wave running machine is in Salford
to be unveiled to the country live on Blue Peter.
This has now got real.
You suddenly see it and it's not a theory, it's not an idea.
-This is real.
-This might just be one of the most difficult challenges
you've seen on Blue Peter.
It's like running a marathon, but on water.
-Big moment. Everyone ready?
-There it is!
If you think that's impressive,
just wait until you see what I'm going to do.
It doesn't seem long ago that we were dreaming up this idea,
and now we're telling the nation.
I'm really starting to feel the pressure.
But with all the excitement over,
it's time to turn my attention back to the challenge,
and that means more hard work.
Do you know what? This training is getting so tough.
These runs are so hard. The gym work is so tough.
And I just... I just really hope we can do this. Scary.
Right, back to training.
I'm now three months into my gruelling schedule,
working out six days a week
and running up to 30 miles at a time.
That's longer than a marathon.
My physical fitness has improved dramatically.
I have more strength in my legs
and weight training has increased the power in my upper body.
But all this training is starting to catch up with me.
Ow. SHE WINCES
I've been doing my really long sessions in the gym.
I've noticed that my legs don't like me very much,
and my knee, especially my left knee,
has been really, really hurting.
I'd say most of the issues, if not all of them, are about fatigue.
She's getting tired.
And things start to ache when you get tired.
'Trevor uses a special tape to help support my knee
'as I keep training.'
Look at this. The glamour of being a wave runner!
So, taped back together, I head to Scotland
to face my next big test -
This sleepy seaside town called Portpatrick
will be the finish line for my challenge.
And it's about to meet the wave runner.
We're here to find out how our inflatable ball
will cope with the sea.
And for that, we need a new member of the wave runner team.
Introducing king of the waves, Richard.
He has years of experience sailing the Irish Sea
and will be responsible for plotting my wave runner route.
So it's vital he sees what I can do on open water.
Wave runner, wave runner...
Today is going to be a bit scary.
Because now it feels official,
and I really am going to attempt to be the wave runner.
Bye. See you later.
Now I just kind of want to get in there, do it today,
and, hopefully, make it work on the sea.
-Here we go.
OK, Lindsey, just start walking... the other way, the other side.
Turn round and start powering away.
'These are my very first steps in the sea
'and, straightaway, it feels a lot harder
'than the flat water of the training lake.'
Why am I going this way?
Why it's getting spun
is just that you've had a wind gust just changing direction.
SHE SIGHS No.
'The waves make it really difficult for me to keep my balance.'
No, it's pushing me.
'And to make matters worse, the wind keeps forcing me off course.'
Going in circles.
Once you stop the rotation, then the wind catches you.
-So we need to keep it rotating to get it going.
This sea is, like, throwing me around this thing, though.
'I have to try and get some distance.
'I don't want the weather to beat me.
'So I give it another go.'
OK, let's do this. Come on.
Walk, walk, walk.
Not going anywhere.
'But however much I try to move forwards,
'the wind just forces me back.
'This is becoming impossible.'
What we're looking at now is the wind.
The wind's causing us a few issues,
but we need to see the thing moving to see how we can resolve it.
OK, well, I can't physically move it sometimes.
'We have found the limit of what my wave runner can take,
'and it's worrying.'
It's almost too much for the Zorb to handle.
And it's too much for me to handle,
being thrown from side to side and trying to steer it.
The first day has been a disaster.
But the next morning, the weather throws us a lifeline.
The wind has dropped and conditions are perfect.
Time to give it another go.
The thing about this challenge is there are constant ups and downs.
This is a world-first,
and I think yesterday we were really, really feeling that.
But today's day two of the sea test, and I'm just hoping we can do it.
Bring it on.
The water feels so much calmer than yesterday
and, for the very first time,
I start to cover some distance on the sea.
Lindsey, that's great.
You're actually controlling the steerage now.
I'm now able to use my power
to keep myself facing in the same direction,
and I'm moving at an OK speed.
Doing good, Lindsey. Best run yet.
But there's a big problem.
I am utterly exhausted.
My arms are burning and my knee is hurting again,
and whilst I've done better than on day one, it's not enough.
'I've got nothing left.'
TEARFULLY: Every step is such an effort.
I just don't get how I'm meant to be in that for, like, ten-plus hours.
It's scaring me.
But I've come this far and I'm not ready to give up yet.
I've got the best team around me and I've been training for months.
I'm going to give this everything I've got for Sport Relief.
It's time to take on the sea.
Can I become the wave runner?
So I am finally here in Donaghadee in Northern Ireland.
Pretty nervous. Tomorrow is the biggest challenge of my life.
There's loads still left to do. Got to get the machine up.
But I guess all that's left to say is, let's do this.
As our engineers start preparations,
I meet up with my mentor, Professor Greg Whyte.
-So, how are you feeling, mate?
-I'm really, really scared.
It sounds obvious, but I just feel terrified.
What you've got to do now is get that mental self ready.
-I've hit walls before with Blue Peter challenges.
But all I remember is that feeling of, "I cannot go on."
What you want to do is draw on that experience.
The fact is that you know you get to that point
in the Patrouille des Glaciers, when you were doing that race,
and you thought, "I cannot go on," and yet you did.
In the marathon, when you think,
"I can't go on, I can't keep going," but you did.
You know that if you keep pushing,
you will be able to make it.
SHE SIGHS I want you to do it, Greg!
I'll be watching.
The team gathers to finalise tomorrow's route across the sea.
I can't travel in a straight line,
so starting in Donaghadee,
I'll head south-east
to the centre of the channel.
Then, when the tide turns,
I'll travel north-east towards Portpatrick.
It's an estimated 28 miles.
So it's time for bed.
Tomorrow is the biggest day of my life.
This is it.
My wave runner team have done their job
and now it's time for me to do mine.
'Welcome to my home for this challenge.
'Finally it's time to get started.'
Here we go.
Despite the fact it's dark, conditions are perfect.
There's not a breath of wind in the air
and I can feel myself really pushing through the water.
-How are you feeling?
-Yeah, I'm OK. I'm calm.
Brilliant, Lindsey. Fantastic!
I'm feeling really strong.
She is absolutely flying.
I manage to cover two and a half miles in my first hour,
and as the sun rises,
the world wakes up to my wave runner challenge.
Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell is planning to make the journey
in nothing more than an inflatable ball.
She's Zorbing across the Irish channel.
Follow Lindsey's progress at bbc.co.uk.
Thank you, and pass on our best wishes to Lindsey.
For the next hour, I managed to ride the tide
and force myself out into the Irish Sea.
I've now covered four miles and I'm starting to find my rhythm.
And all that hard work is already paying off,
as I'm treated to the most stunning sunrise I've ever seen.
This is beautiful.
But it doesn't last long. I've still got a lot of work to do.
Every hour, I stop to take on fuel,
which also gives Greg a chance to check on my health.
Course is good, pace is good.
You're just having to work that little bit harder to keep it.
That's the difference, mate.
'But everything that goes in has to come out.'
So, I've done a wee in my wet suit.
'OK, too much information.
'After four hours, I've gone eight miles.
'But we have a problem.'
It feels like I'm in a balloon that's gone down a little bit.
What it looks like is, actually, the Zorb's deflating.
'If the ball keeps losing air,
'it could put the whole challenge at risk.
'Our only option is to inflate the ball at sea.'
That's it. Better.
'Thankfully, it works.'
I'm now in my fifth hour.
It's by far the longest time I've ever been in this ball,
and I'm really starting to ache.
But I keep remembering why I'm doing this.
It's all for Sport Relief.
Money that's raised by Sport Relief helps fund charities like Jigsaw.
They run loads of sports sessions
especially for people with disabilities...
..to help them get active and make friends.
This is, like,
a good chance to come and play some sport
in a friendly environment.
Coming here is really important,
because it gives me a chance to get out with people my own age.
The staff here at Jigsaw
provide a really safe and fun environment
for all of these swimmers.
It's really good fun.
It gets us out, being independent.
It makes us very healthy and fit.
This is just one of the ways the money you raise
can make a real difference to people's lives.
So do your bit and get involved with Sport Relief.
Well, she's six and a half hours in, so it's about 13 miles done.
24,000 uphill steps.
This is where she starts to question whether she can make it not.
So she's done a lot, but she's got an awful long way to go.
'The conditions have changed since this morning.
'The wind and waves are much stronger
'and I'm struggling to keep my balance.'
It's just pushing me over.
It's pushing me to the left.
'This is so tough, but I've got to keep trying.'
15 miles in and I've reached a critical moment in my journey.
The tide is turning
and should start pushing me towards my destination of Portpatrick.
But over the next hour, the wind increases
and the waves just get higher.
It's taking all my strength to stay upright.
Argh! 'I'm so frustrated.
'I know I have to beat these conditions to stay on track.'
It is too slippy!
'After 16 miles, Greg calls me in for a crisis talk.'
Your pace has been amazing from the start to this point.
But the problem is that those tides are just really quick today.
And with the combination of that and the wind,
it's just pushing you in the wrong direction.
This is tough. Really, really, really tough.
-Are we just not going anywhere?
We are, but we're going in the wrong direction.
We're not going where we want to go. OK?
This has got nothing to do with you.
There's not many people as brave as you, let me tell you that.
MUSIC: Help Me by Johnny Cash
'I'm running out of time,
'but I'm determined to get back on course.'
Pushing me round.
The extra effort is agony.
And the waves are impossible.
I manage one more mile...
..then I hear the words I'm dreading.
Greg tells me to stop.
Come on, let's get you out. Let's get you out of there.
Are you sure we can't just keep trying?
Mate, the tide simply won't let you get to shore. That's the problem.
It fundamentally becomes too dangerous to be out here.
I can't believe it's over.
I've been at sea for nine hours, but I have to accept
that I can't make it to Scotland against the tide.
I did manage to walk 17 miles across the Irish Sea.
But it just wasn't enough.
As we head into Portpatrick, I'm feeling gutted.
But then everything changes when I see a crowd.
-Well done, Lindsey.
The town has come to show their support and cheer me in.
And right at the front is my dad.
Well done, you. So proud of you.
'This means the world to me.'
-Thank you so much for coming.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
This has been the toughest challenge of my life.
And in the end, although I didn't quite make it,
I'm so proud that I never...ever gave up.
I hope it's inspired you to get involved for Sport Relief
and, most importantly, I hope it's shown you
it's just about having a go.
It doesn't matter how you get to the finish line. Just have a go.
SHE SIGHS I need a hot bath.