FIVE kayakers from Hereford have been taking part in the gruelling Devizes to Westminster 125-mile international kayak race.

The event is split into K2 and K1 and Shaun Thrower, who last year won the K2 section with Steve King, tried his hand this time around at the K1 event, a four-day stage race, and acquitted himself well with a third-place finish.

Sharon Colley and Alison Dark and Lee Champ and Paul Davies were involved in the non-stop K2 event, an arduous challenge which continued through day and night with the crews taking food and drink from their back-up crews on the run as they portaged locks and weirs.

Colley and Dark came home in 14th place overall from 217 crews.

Their time of 20 hours 45 minutes set a new veteran women's record, clipping more than three hours from the previous best which had stood at more than 24 hours since the 1980s.

Champ, who only started kayaking last year, and Davies finished 18th overall in a time of 21 hours 36 minutes.

"We would like to thank our back-up crew - Kay and Tony Spencer, Alan Burgoyne, Jeff Hyde, Matt Haines, Paul Burgoyne and Kate Hunt - from Hereford Kayak Club for their help and encouragement," said Colley.