HITCHING to Paris from Edinburgh? Udderly ridiculous.
Well that is exactly what two former Pocklington School pupils did recently in a bovine-based bid to pull in the pounds for a chosen charity.
Intrepid couple Tom Screeton and Becky Sedcole, who are both 19, signed up for the annual Race to Paris from Edinburgh.
The idea is to get from the Scottish capital to the French capital while spending as little money as possible, in the fastest time and to raise as much cash in the process.
To make the challenge that little bit more interesting, they both dressed from head to hoof in cow costumes for the journey- which helped them to milk the situation as they raised more than any other group taking part.
Becky, who is from Burnby, and studies medicine at Edinburgh University, said: “A couple of friends said they wanted to do it and I’d seen the poster and thought it would be a laugh. It ended up that we were the only ones who registered!
“We decided that we wanted to do it properly so we did it in the cow costumes, which was Tom’s idea- he’s in the Young Farmers and thought it was a good idea.
“It would make it more fun and we’d be more approachable.”
The idea for the wacky 600-mile race is that student pairs must hitchhike their way to Paris, and should only really pay for the ferry crossing from Dover to Calais.
Becky continued: “It’s literally standing on the side of the road and hoping that someone will give you a lift. It’s run really well though in that every time we get a lift we have to send a text to the organisers to say where we were and who we were with. You also have to send one every three hours just to tell them what we were doing.
“In some places we got picked up in about 20 minutes, we had a big banner which we had all the details written on about what we were doing and raising the money for Marie Curie.
“It was a bit scary at times, but most of the people were quite nice, a lot of them wanted to help.
“The worst time was we got stuck in Folkstone and were there for 11 hours. We even ended up sleeping on the floor of a disabled toilet, which wasn’t very nice!”
The determined pair still made it to Paris in 32 hours, which consisted of around 10 separate hitched rides. Unfortunately, they were unable to convince a French rail company to allow them to board a train free of charge and were forced to shell out for the journey between Calais and Paris.
But they still managed to raise more than any other pair, pulling in £1,250 for Marie Curie Cancer Care so far.
The amount exceeded their target of £1,000, and people are still being urged to help ‘beef’ up the total by logging onto virginmoneygiving.com and searching for Becky Sedcole under the homepage’s ‘Find a Friend’ section.
“It was amazing,” added Becky, “to raise this amount of money is fantastic- and we had a really good day in Paris!”