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Action Mans Three Peak Challenge

Well Sir Ranulph Riennes has nothing to fear as my somewhat diminutive frame is not really built for mountain climbing but that didn’t stop me from taking on my toughest challenge to date with the national 3 peaks challenge.

This monumental feat entails climbing the largest mountains in Scotland (Ben Nevis) England (Scaffel Pike) and Wales (Snowdon) back to back.

This is a challenge that I’ve wanted to do for some time and during my new baby daughter Everly’s 2 week stay on the neo-natal intensive care unit at Ipswich Hospital I noticed the Ipswich Hospital Charity posters and their new Sunrise Appeal to raise £100,000 for the unit and paediatric care, well there’s no greater incentive than that.

This is a challenge that I’ve wanted to do for some time and during my new baby daughter Everly’s 2 week stay on the neo-natal intensive care unit at Ipswich Hospital I noticed the Ipswich Hospital Charity posters and their new Sunrise Appeal to raise £100,000 for the unit and paediatric care, well there’s no greater incentive than that.

Having never even set foot on a mountain previously I did clock quite a few miles of training but the rather flat Suffolk landscape didn’t really prepare me for what was to come.

Action Man and his army comprising of Aaron, Rob, Stephen, George, Dean, Jack, Darren, Michael, Isla, Matt and Bren began the journey up to Fort William and our camp site at the base of Ben Nevis. Half way we picked up our minibus from www.busybus.co.uk driven by Frank, who knew the roads like the back of his hand and gave us some much needed time to rest in between mountains.

3 peaks team

A very early start on a Saturday morning saw us quickly gather all our equipment, break down the camp and porridge up to the eyeballs ready for our first climb.

A little after 6 o’clock we were underway, 1344 metres up was Britain’s highest point, quite steep to start with the path rose through the valley then proceed to zig-zag up the mountain, three hours later we reached the summit, the almost luna surroundings were far surpassed by the far reaching views of the Scottish highlands but there was no time to waste, just long enough to scoff an protein bar, take a selfie then get out of the bitter sub-zero winds and back down the mountain, this took two and a half hours, you’d think it would be quicker but it’s very hard on the legs and caught a few by surprise.

Back on the bus for a carb loading lunch and some rest whilst we drove five hours South to Scaffel Pike. Straight off the bus and straight up the mountain just in time to watch the sunset over the Lake District but that left coming down rather tricky with just the narrow light of our head torches piercing the darkness.

After another few hours of broken sleep on the bus we reached Snowdon in North Wales, taking the longer but easier minors path on the way up (however this is still very tricky towards the top) we reached the peak in two hours, our third summit within 24hrs was greeted by a wave of exhaustion, elation, relief and joy only to be disheartened to discover the summit café (to which there is actually a train!) wouldn’t open for another two hours.

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So back we went this time down the shorter but more challenging Pyg trail with just enough in the legs to finish with a sprint finish. In total we walked 30 miles, 67,000 steps and the equivalent of 783 stories high! This amazing challenge was a monstrous physical and mental challenge but great fun was had by all along the way and most importantly we raised almost £7000 for the Sunrise Appeal.

You can still support our great challenge www.justgiving.com/Sunrise3Peaks

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