The Three Peaks Challenge


I have just come back from the most exciting, terrifying, exhausting and elating weekend I have ever experienced!

''Lets climb some mountains''

My friend Terri said, Ok I said lets do it! I didn't really know what I was letting myself in for to be honest. I agreed as I love the challenges my friend and I undertake and I knew the training would be fun and this would be something totally different to what I had done before and I'm always up for something new and we would be doing it to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK

We started off by getting back into our running for a weeks then the walking started, we climbed any hill we could around our home of Wiltshire. Up and down we went strengthening our legs and enjoying getting out and about in the amazing weather, our weekly chats would be centred around what to expect and how best to prepare.

And just like that the day arrived

Friday 6th July came round so quickly and we were on the plane flying to Glasgow to be collected by our guide from Maximum Adventure (who we had booked through).

We sized up our group on arrival trying to figure out where we fitted in in the fitness levels, it was too late anyway there was no going back to fit in extra training!

We hopped on the mini bus and spent the next few hours driving to Fort William, the scenery was beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed the chill out time. We arrived at the hotel and after a briefing from our guide headed out for a fuelling meal and then an early night, of course being in different surroundings I couldn't get to sleep but I kind of expected that!

Mountain Number 1 - Ben Nevis

Here we go.... it was time, we all stood at the bottom of Ben Nevis looking at the sheer magnitude of this grand mountain, are we really doing this?!

We all set off (22 in our group) feeling excited and nervous, I started fairly quickly and was very soon sweaty and out of breath which then put me at the back of the group, I (very slowly) picked my way to the top and was so relieved to finally get to the top!

My lower back is very tight which travels down the backs of my legs making going up a truly painful experience, but I did it (although I wanted to give up several times!)

This is one hell of a mountain and I was so grateful for my 3 litres of water in my camelback as it was a super hot day and the sweat was pouring off me, I was very glad for the snacks at the top as well. After a quick stop we headed back down, to my relief I could do this with no pains or problems and we got back down a lot quicker than we got up!

All back in the mini bus we then had a 7 hour journey in front of us to get to Scafell Pike in the Lake District, sleeping was nearly impossible but was great to get some rest and refuel!

Mountain Number 2 - Scafell Pike

It was near to 9pm when we set off for Scafell Pike, just starting to get dark but still quite hot and humid. I had spent the last 7 hours psyching myself up for this mountain, Ben Nevis was tough so I wanted to do well on this one. We set off, the ones wanting to go faster went ahead and the rest of us had to stay together, I very quickly dropped to the back again, this mountain is steep! Steeper than Ben Nevis and soon I was quite far behind everyone and really struggling, just lifting my legs up was painful (tight hamstrings is not the one for this type of activity) so I decided I wasn't going to making it all the way to the top. I did make it to halfway and was then escorted back down by one of the guides, choosing to give up wasn't easy and I was so gutted but I would of held the group up massively I didn't think that was fair.

I headed back to the bus and waited for the group to return which they did around 1.15am. We then set off for Snowdon!

Mountain Number 3 - Snowdon

Having only had about 2 hours sleep I actually felt good and determined to make it to the top of Snowdon,it was the last mountain and the easiest so I had heard!

It was a beautiful morning and so warm already so we set off, the group split up and we all made our own way up. I really enjoyed this walk, there are even flat bits! The top was pretty tough and the temperatures were soaring, I have literally never sweated so much in my whole life and in turn drank so much water.

I was so relieved to reach the top and enjoy the view, feeling quite emotional we made some calls home and had a quick snack then it was time to go back down.

Don't be deceived into thinking the downward trek is easier, my friend was immense pain with her knees and several people also struggled with going down so we were all relieved to get to the bottom, the heat was searing and we were melting!

Fast forward to 11pm and we finally arrived home a sweaty, smelly, hot mess, exhausted but totally elated that we had completed the Three Peaks Challenge within the 24 hours and raised over £1200 for Bowel Cancer UK between us.

I highly recommend this experience to anyone wanting to give it a go, just make sure your back and legs are up to it! I'm sure if I had trained my legs more I wouldn't have struggled so much. It was still amazing, not sure I would do it again though!

Thanks for reading

Helen x

#ThreePeaksChallenger #Fitness #MountainClimbing #BowelCancerUK #BenNevis #ScafellPike #Snowdon #MaximumAdventures

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