Cardiff Jailbreak winners got to Istanbul and back in 52 hours

They made it all the way to Asia

Second years Tom Martin, James Burkhardt and Lizzie Harding have been announced winners of this year’s Jailbreak after making it from The SU to Istanbul and back within 52 hours.

Cardiff’s Jailbreak is a charity race where a team of 3-4 people attempt to get as far away from Cardiff as possible and back within an allocated time and without spending money on travel.


From left to right: James, Tom and Lizzie

Tom’s team collected money for the charity Cardiff’s RAG. They collected money in Cardiff city centre, in student pubs, with a large donation given by the Vulcan and at the letting agencies – CPS being the most generous.

They funded a bus to London Victoria, on which they collected £300 in coins from people waiting for public transport. After sleeping at the airport, they flew from Gatwick to Istanbul in the morning, blagging their way onto a Victoria-Gatwick bus for free.

The team landed in Istanbul at 4pm, took a shuttle into the centre and found a hotel room. Tom said: “We were right in the Asian quarter of the city and no one spoke English so it was hard ordering and stuff but we managed it.”

Enjoying his well deserved kebab

James enjoying his well deserved kebab

The team then got a return flight for £31 each at 7am, and paid for a shuttlebus out of their bucket money. Once at the airport, they couldn’t find their flight on the screen and realised they were at the wrong airport but made it to the correct one in just 45 minutes.

When they landed at Heathrow, they convinced an underground ticket officer to give them a free trip to Hounslow West, where they tried to hitch hike. Tom added: “We were told to fuck off more times than I care to mention.”

Happier times

Happier times

The Jailbreakers eventually managed to get a lift from Hounslow West to Swindon, where they then hitched a lift to a station just outside Bristol from a man who played for Bristol Rovers.

After being rejected a coach ride from a Welsh choir for insurance reasons, they eventually got a lift from a bloke named Rob who dropped them off just outside the SU at 5.15pm, 45 minutes before the deadline.

Tom, a History and Politics student, said: “People basically funded our trip because they wanted to see us go so far. Hitch hiking was the hardest but got so much easier once we got to service stations as opposed to doing it on the roadside.

“I’m very surprised we got that far. We were hoping to get to mainland Europe but to get to Asia instead, it was unbelievable.”

The team raised above £100 for charity on the journey, and have raised £300 between them online. To donate to Tom’s fundraising page, click here: