3rd October 2011:Well, I'm back in one piece from the Himalayas and what a marvellous time its been! It is truely the hardest but most rewarding thing I've ever done in my life. Turns out that, despite all my training, it doesn't count for anything at altitude and I struggled with even the slightest hills. With support from my guides and the other group members (and a little bit of medicinal help from the altitude drug, diamox!), I was able to continue on the journey at my own pace and experience the wonders that the trip had to offer...I saw the majestic Everest and walked in the surrounding beautiful mountain range containing the highest mountains on the planet. We had snowfall which, despite making walking conditions harder, just made the whole experience more magical and even more spectacular. I loved experiencing life in Nepal and finding out all about their customs and culture, meeting some fantastic people along the way.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me as I have fulfilled my dream...it has been a privilege to be able to raise money for such a worthwhile cause along the way.
30th August 2011:Well two challenges down and the big Everest to go!
On the 11th June, I completed the South Downs Marathon in 5 hours and 1 minute. Thank you so much for everyone who came out to support me and sorry about the tears at Harting Down! Needless to say, I felt a million times better after that point and finished feeling strong! Its funny how feeling ok for the last 6 miles makes you completely forget how horrific the first 20 were!I have just returned from my Three Peaks Challenge weekend! It was amazing to see three such spectacular mountains within such a short amount of time. Although we were over the 24 hours going by the exact start and finish times, our leader said we clocked walk times sufficiently short to have said we completed the challenge and, hey, who am I to argue! The walking turned out to be the relatively easy bit, Nevis at 7.30am-feeling good, Scafell Pike at 8pm in thunder, lightning and rain, survived this too BUT...the travel sickness on the minibus overnight leading to not getting any sleep before tackling Snowdon at 6am was not so easy to cope with! But I did it and enjoyed it, meeting some new lovely people along the way. No blisters but burning thighs by the end of it and getting completely disorientated with which country we were in / mountain we were on!
I'm missing the mountains already so roll on Everest on 12th October! I've heard there's one or two mountains to see! Having re-read the trip notes I'm thinking, as per three peaks, its not the walking that's going to be the main challenge but coping with those 'squat' toilets and lack of showers, not to mention extreme cold, extreme altitude, home-sickness and one or two little hills along the way. Saying this, I know I am going to see some amazing things and it is a pleasure, as always, to raise money for Ben Williams trust along the way.So thank you so much to those who have sponsored already and, for those who might still like to, your donations are greatly appreciated!
Also thank you to everybody for your ongoing confidence in me and messages of support - they mean a lot and keep me going when the going gets tough!
Those who know me, know I am never one to shy away from a challenge. Well, this year, to mark turning 30, I am setting myself the challenge of a lifetime! What started off as a little idea in my head has now become reality and on October 14th, I will be heading off to Nepal to Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain. Now, as many of you may know, it is only proper mountaineers who will ascend the summit (I know I'm crazy but I'm not THAT crazy!) so, as a challenge that a mere mortal can face, I am heading for Everest Base Camp. Now don't be fooled by the word 'base' as this is still pretty high! It is located at a height of 5,360m (to put this in context, Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain lies at 1,344m or Butser Hill, the highest point on the South Down's Way and close to home, is 271m). In fact, I am doing an extended trip trekking two challenging high passes around the Everest region, crossing a glacier and summiting two peaks near Everest whilst trying to cope with the altitude. It includes 18 consecutive days of trekking with up to 9 hours walking a day.
So, as you can see, it is going to be quite a physical challenge and this got me thinking about how I would prepare for it. Well, I have always wanted to do 'The Three Peaks Challenge' and decided it would be a brilliant way to prepare for Everest. For those who don't know, this is an ascent of the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales (Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon) within 24 hours. So in August, I will be headed for bonnie Scotland for slopes of Ben Nevis for an early start ready to tackle the three peaks.........
Well, not content to leave it there, I decided, if I'm going to tackle the Three Peaks and Everest Base Camp, I am going to need to be in fairly good shape physically. So, in order to build up a good base level of fitness, I have been training to do the South Downs Marathon on 11th June. This is no ordinary marathon, this is billed as 'Britain's toughest marathon', not only is it off-road but includes some killer hills which would be enough for anyone to walk up as part of a weekend amble, let alone tackle as part of a 26-mile marathon run. I will run/hobble from Slindon (near Arundel) to Queen Elizabeth Country Park on the South Downs Way trying to distract myself with the lovely views in order to make it, in one piece, to the finish (any supporters greatly appreciated as, I know I am going to find it very tough).
It is a privilege to be able to raise money for such a worthwhile cause at the same time as fulfilling some of my lifetime dreams and ambitions. The Ben Williams trust was set up in memory of Ben, who passed away in 2006 due to a rare heart muscle disorder. I work with Gilly, who is Ben's Mum. Gilly and her husband, Phil, continue to tirelessly dedicate much time and energy fundraising to continue to support children with heart arrhythmias and youth cricket initiatives (Ben loved cricket). Needless to say, this is a small, local charity and every penny you donate will be put towards a very worthwhile cause. You will be able to see exactly what your money is going towards on www.benwilliamstrust.org.uk. I know so many of you have been so generous before in donating to the trust both through some of my previous escapades and other Ben Williams charity events but your money is needed now, as much as ever before, to continue to support the good work that the trust has made possible. So please, any amount, great or small, will be eternally appreciated.
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