What is a challenge?
“Something that needs great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully and therefore tests a person’s ability “
So, the question is, ARE YOU UP FOR A CHALLENGE?
Well, myself and my work colleagues certainly were this weekend as we took on the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge all in aid of raising money for Northwest Air Ambulance (raising over £1600 might I add). This is a 26 mile hike including ascending Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside. Now we all know the 3 Peaks is more known for the big 3 in England Wales and Scotland, but this was Yorkshires offering. And my god it offered it all.
A 4am wake up to be at the office for 5am. 5AM AT THE OFFICE ON THE WEEKEND. Tbh that was the first challenge. Load up the cars then on our way to Horton in Ribblesdale then off on our way up Pen-y-gent. The incline set the tone for the rest of the day. Not going to lie, I underestimated this and was soon humbled by the amount of effort it was going to take. Anyway, to the top of Pen-y-gent we got! Quick photo and then the descent. Now this wasn’t any normal descent. IT ABSOLUTELY P****D IT DOWN. Soaked to the core. Apart from my waterproof coat. Even my camera got a bit soggy. Yeah, big L for me there. Nothing too major though.
As we descended further, the weather stopped being our enemy and as we made our way over to our first check point of Ribblehead Viaduct we actually dried out. Now this part of the “walk” was immense. Probably talking about 7 or so miles or even more. I would know but my watch died before we finished.
We met our convoy at Ribblehead Viaduct for some much needed lunch. Costco butties, wraps, crisps, bananas and oranges to the rescue. Then on we marched to Whernside, weather still on our side (kind of). This was a long walk and a long Incline, but we made it. Photo time at the top of course and then descent. This was a bit grim as me, Alasdair and Nik had the classic excuse of a “dodgy right knee” and downhill isn’t our friend. But we made it and got ourselves to our next checkpoint to fill up water etc.
Then came the final ascent. We could see it glistening in the distance. Ingleborough was calling us to climb. Now we just had to actually do it. It was probably the shortest but hardest as there was a bit of climbing/scrambling involved. But we did it of course. Again, photo time and then back down to the finish!
This was probably the worst bit. It wasn’t just walking down and towards the end it felt endless. Probably a good couple of hours to the end! My knees were shot. My hip was sore. My feet were blistered, and quite honestly, we all just wanted to get home to bed.
BUT! Our amazing convoy (Erica, Mike and Gibbo) were waiting at the end for us. Credit to them ferrying us around at a ridiculous hour and waiting for all that time just to take us home! A beer for each of us well earned I’d say. But all in all, a great day and I couldn’t be prouder of my colleagues.
Now this is where it gets interesting because I got home 10.30pm and remembered I had already signed up to the Chester Zoo 10km run with Mike, oops. A Whatsapp message congratulating me on Saturdays Peaks followed by a “see you at 06:50 in the morning” So a quick shower and bed!
6am alarm wasn’t great. But I rose from my slumber, still aching. Me and Mike (another amazing work colleague) got to Chester Zoo and got ourelves a coffee to warm up. Then off we went. 10km of running after that 42km hike the day before. How I was running round Chester Zoo is beyond me. But Mike being Mike was pushing me all the way. He then told me I was on for a new PB so there was literally no stopping now. Go go go I thought. Then the last 250 I sprinted to the finish to gain a new PB of 48:32 (previous pb 49:19). Again, can’t thank Mike enough for pushing me!
All in all I have thrown my body to the gods this weekend and it’s absolutely knackered. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So, the answer to the question ARE YOU UP TO THE CHALLENGE? I can certainly say that I am.