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Two skis good, smoking bad

PUBLISHED: 23:06 29 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:56 03 March 2010

CROSS-COUNTRY skier Phil Shaw rolled into Ipswich today as part of a 1000-mile UK tour to highlight the perils of smoking.

Barely puffing when he arrived at the Evening Star office, superfit Canadian Phil, 36, is roller skiing from John O' Groats to Lands End to drive home his anti tobacco message.

CROSS-COUNTRY skier Phil Shaw rolled into Ipswich today as part of a 1000-mile UK tour to highlight the perils of smoking.

Barely puffing when he arrived at the Evening Star office, superfit Canadian Phil, 36, is roller skiing from John O' Groats to Lands End to drive home his anti tobacco message.

Phil has completed the first month of the planned three-month tour, that has already taken in Edinburgh, Sheffield and Norwich.

The Quebec resident said: "I have to keep my wits about me because everyone here drives on the left. It's made me very confused."

But rather than roller ski the whole way, Phil confessed he takes the train between towns.

He said: "It would be crazy to roller ski on the main roads, so I take the train. I make up the distance I would have skied by skiing around the town."

The inspiration for the trip came when both his parents, former smokers, suffered from smoking related diseases.

To limber up for the marathon tour Phil, a professional cross country skier, skated across Canada in world beating time of 72 days.

And while the US-made roller skis are a familiar sight in Canada and Scandinavia, they amazed Ipswich onlookers.

14-year-old Craig Hamblet, from Norwich Road, Ipswich, said: "I think they're really groovy. I don't think I'd be able to get all the way round the country on them though. My legs would ache."

Phil's trip has received limited sponsorship from sports companies but relies on goodwill along the way. In Ipswich he bedded down free of charge at the Novotel.

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