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Alastair Judge avatar
Alastair Judge

Sponsor Al, Dan, Kathryn & Phillipa!

Fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support

101 %
£7,600.00
raised of £7,500 target
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  • Team members: Al, Dan, Kathryn & Philippa
  • Event: The Ultimate 3 peaks challenge

Macmillan Cancer Support

We give you the support you need to live life as fully as you can

Charity Registration No. 261017

Story

                                                           WE DID IT!!!

We achieved the Ultimate 3 peaks challenge, of completing all 3 between sunrise and sunset, in 16 hours and 29 minutes, 4 minutes before the sunset!!!

Challenge Report

At 4.57am on July 19th 2008, at the exact moment the sun rose, Dan and Al set off on the challenge of running up the 3 highest peaks before sunset. As we looked up, cloud shrouded at least half of the highest mountain in and the previous few days of heavy rain had left a water-logged path ahead of us. Our support team of Al's wife, Kathryn, and her sister, Philippa, cheered us on as we started our mammoth task….
 
Ben Nevis
Ben Nevis is a long, tough slog over a terrain that does not lend itself to running. Big steps and slippery rocks make it very difficult to get any kind of rhythm going and, when we looked at the watch after what felt like an hour, only to realize that we had only been going for 18 minutes, we knew it was going to be tough.

The weather forecast had told us to expect 20-30mph winds with gusts of up to 40mph and that a severe windchill would make it feel like -10C on top. Thankfully though, they were northerly winds, and our southerly path protected us until the last 25 minutes, at which point we ran through snow and felt the icy wind hit us head on. At 6.17am, 10 minutes ahead of schedule, we were the first people that day to reach the highest point in Britain.

Running down a mountain is tricky and requires absolute concentration. If your eyes start to run from the wind, you can’t see where your feet are going and you are in trouble. However, we managed to stay injury free until the last 5 minutes when Al slipped on a greasy rock and the resulting bruise has turned most of his right leg purple. We were back down at the car at 7.21am to be greeted by the girls, who weren’t expecting us quite so early. A quick change of clothes and we were driving south in our complimentary AVIS car by 7.31am.
 
Scafell Pike
The journey to Scafell Pike had been smooth apart from the 4 minutes spent at the side of the road to let Dan throw up from car-sickness, induced by the windy road round Loch Lomond! By 12.29pm, we had started running upScafell Pike from Seathwaite farm. We expected this to be easier thanBen Nevis. We were wrong!
We hadn’t expected quite so much water underfoot. It must have been raining for quite some time, as the path at the bottom was under 2-3cm of water and this set the tone for the whole run. The rocks were extremely greasy and it made progressing quickly almost impossible.

The route took us scrambling over a 6-metre rock wall on hands and knees and from then on, the weather and the terrain got really nasty. False summit after false summit, due to the heavy mist and rain, icy winds and constant scree, made it only possible to do a fast walk. We passed several people who all just stood and stared at us as we marched past them in our shorts telling us we were crazy! We finally made the top, taking 6 minutes longer than expected.

The descent was even harder as it was difficult to be confident running over such slippery rocks. We were so wet that we decided at 1 point to wade through the very cold river, knee deep, rather than using the bridge further upstream. We finally made it back to the car, 30 minutes behind schedule, very tired and very wet.
 
Snowdon
Another very smooth journey meant we arrived atSnowdon, having made up 10 minutes but still 20 minutes behind schedule. However, this time there were a few things in our favour. Snowdon, despite being higher thanScafell Pike, is the smallest climb of all 3; it is a well worn path and the terrain easier; the weather was good!

This meant that we had a chance of making up some time and our ascent went really well. This was accompanied by some incredible views and when we reached the top ofSnowdon at 8.24pm, we had 360 degree views over Snowdonia and the realization that we had made up sufficient time to achieve our goal. We had ascendedSnowdon in 1 hour 5 minutes and had 1 hour and 3 minutes to get down before sunset. The descent was exhilerating as were able to take in the stunning scenery for the 1st time in a long day. We timed our run to perfection arriving back at base camp with 3 minutes to go until sunset. The girls had decorated themselves in MacMillan Cancer Support balloons and inflatables and cheered us down the last few hundred yards. It was a great welcome party and the 4 of us watched a storybook sunset down the Llanberis valley at 9.30pm.
 
Kathryn and Philippa know their Mum would have been very proud of what we had achieved and the £7250 and counting [inc gift aid] that we have raised to date will go a long way to helping other terminal cancer sufferers in the same way Jane did. We are so grateful to the incredibly generosity we have received in support of this cause and we all want to say a big thank you for donations, it is much appreciated.
 
There is, of course, still time to make a donation if you haven’t done so already…
 
www.justgiving.com/ultimate_3_peaks

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  • We will be ascending 3000+m in 16 hrs!

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