A GREAT Urswick couple’s record-breaking challenge has become the subject of a new inspirational book, due to be released tomorrow.

Ettienne De Beer became the first person to circumnavigate the UK on foot and bike in 49 days in October of last year.

Supported through the mammoth journey by his wife Patricia, he has written about their quest - and the story behind it - in his book Through Blisters and Saddle Sores.

Patricia was diagnosed with breast cancer 18 months into their marriage in 2009 and, after undergoing gruelling chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and a mastectomy, she found a source of hope through charity the Breast Cancer Haven.

Ettienne said: “After all the treatments were done I sat helplessly and saw my wife revert into her shell like a frightened sea creature, scared, hurt and unsure about the future.

“There is however a charity who give emotional support and free treatments to all women who have just gone through cancer. They were the magic key that helped my wife to be a strong individual again, confident and determined.”

The Haven charity, which has centres in the south and one in Leeds, provides a free programme of in-depth support to improve the quality of life of anyone affected by breast cancer. Their work is funded purely through donations.

In a bid to give something back to the charity Ettienne, a fitness professional, decided to embark on the record-breaking 4,200-mile challenge of biking and running around the edge of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in under 50 days.

With Patricia providing support and Jack Russell Pixy along for the ride, they raised more than £2,000 for the charity. And after penning an account of their journey together, they are hoping to further boost their contribution.

“We would like to raise £100,000, which will help 100 women to be treated,” Patricia said. “The book is an inspirational read to encourage other people who have gone through really difficult times.

“It was a really gruelling challenge. Before this he had done an ultra marathon, which was 30 miles, but when he was running he covered at least 26 miles a day.

“When we were in Scotland he was thrown off his bike in storms, and we broke down in Carlisle.

“Ettienne has been phenomenal and I couldn’t have done it without him. I was on the floor from the chemotherapy and it was lovely to be able to do something together for Haven.”

• Through Blisters and Saddle Stores is available on Amazon Kindle from tomorrow for £1.99, with 10 per cent of all sales going to Breast Cancer Haven.