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River Rats race through Royal Docks for fun and to help Shelter’s homeless

Rat Race adventuers slither their way over floating obstacles  [photos:Tom Miles] Rat Race adventuers slither their way over floating obstacles [photos:Tom Miles]

Monday, August 18, 2014
5:33 PM

Rat Race adventurers invaded east London’s Royal Docks to splash out on a challenge testing their fitness—as well as raise funds for homeless families.

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...such as  pontoon rafts to negotiate......such as pontoon rafts to negotiate...

The 10km water course had 1,300 adventurers running, jumping, swimming, kayaking and climbing their way around the massive three mile docks.

Each ticket sold to spectators raised £10 for east London’s Shelter homeless charity to help people across the country who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. More funds were raised through sponsorship for the organisation in Whitechapel.

... and rollers to throw them off balance...... and rollers to throw them off balance...

The race started inside the London ExCel centre where competitors faced a quick-fire barrage of obstacles before they headed out on to the dockside, running towards the Thames cable-car with more obstacles, before entering the Royal Victoria Dock through a water jump.

They had to swim, then get through an energy-sapping, thigh deep wade on to an urban beach.

... before a final leap of faith into the dock water...... before a final leap of faith into the dock water...

The adventurers, once back on dry land, had to jump, swim and wade before jumping into kayaks and finally the centerpiece obstacle of the event—a 20ft plummeting jump into the dock from the quayside.

River Rat Race creator Jim Mee said: “The 10km course provides a fitness challenge, but the water elements make it fun.”

...making a splash in Rat Race final 20ft plunge! [photos:Tom Miles]...making a splash in Rat Race final 20ft plunge! [photos:Tom Miles]

The Royal Docks event is on target to raise over £50,000 for Shelter to help those facing bad housing or homelessness.

Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb said: “So many people are fighting to keep a roof over their heads. This River Rat race was an opportunity to help us provide a lifeline to families up and down the country.”

Saturday’s challenge was organised by Rat Race adventure sports company which runs adventure races all over Britain. It is holding 18 events this year alone, with 70,000 adventurers taking part.

Entries for next year’s River Rat Race open online for applicants soon.

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