Racing driver Billy Monger to take on 140-mile triathlon for Red Nose Day

Megan Baynes, PA

Racing driver and double amputee Billy Monger will take on a 140-mile triathlon-inspired challenge to raise money for Red Nose Day.

Later this month, Monger, who lost both of his legs in a racing accident three years ago, will tackle the huge distances on foot, take to freezing open waters by kayak and endure day-long stretches on a bike.

He will cover 140 miles in four days, finishing at the world-famous race circuit Brands Hatch in Kent.

Monger told the PA news agency: “What attracted me to do this was the fact I want to keep pushing myself and what I can achieve. After my accident it was a long road back, I was lucky that I was surrounded by close family, friends and received such amazing support from people.

“Throughout the challenge, I know I’ll need people to get behind me again to get me through and I’ll keep in mind that with every step, every mile it will help support those who need it most.”

He said he was a “little nervous” but “completely determined” to complete the challenge.

Billy Monger at AW Performance Gym in Storrington
Monger says he is a ‘little ‘nervous’ (Jordan Mansfield/Comic Relief/PA)

Monger began racing aged just six, but in April 2017 at a British F4 race he was left with life-changing injuries that resulted in the amputation of both his legs.

However, he was back at the wheel within a year and was awarded the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in 2018.

Monger has been training for months now, but said he had “no experience” ahead of the challenge – he has not cycled since his accident three years ago, and has never kayaked before.

Billy Monger comic relief challenge
Billy Monger training at Herne Hill Velodrome in London (Jordan Mansfield/Comic Relief/PA)

“I’m going to have to get the hang of the gear pretty quickly, especially to cover the distances that we’re doing. So, it’s nerve-wracking but it’s exciting,” he said.

People at home will be able to see all the highs and lows of Billy’s challenge in an hour-long special documentary, filmed by a reduced crew, on BBC One.

The money raised will tackle issues including homelessness, hunger, domestic abuse and mental health problems, all of which have been exacerbated by the ongoing health crisis.

Billy Monger trains at Fight 4 Change in London (Jordan Mansfield/Comic Relief/PA)
Billy Monger trains at Fight 4 Change in London (Jordan Mansfield/Comic Relief/PA)

Ahead of his challenge, Monger visited Fight 4 Change, a boxing project in London which is supported by Comic Relief.

The project works with young people, offering them boxing, mentoring, mental health support and peer-buddying systems to help overcome isolation and help navigate the many challenges they face.

He said: “I loved seeing how donations to Red Nose Day have been helping Fight 4 Change. I’m so grateful to the team there for showing me the amazing work they do and telling me how sport has such a positive impact on young people’s lives and helped them get through incredibly tough times.”

From Our Partners