A tale of two groups – Lauren Vasey
On 25th May 2019, eighteen CML staff and friends were foolish/brave enough to take on the 24-mile Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge to support Macmillan Cancer and Papyrus, a suicide prevention charity aimed at young people.
Our team ranged from our super fit MD, Charles Mortimer to myself and many others who had never attempted it. Although ‘the challenge’ is to complete the peaks in under 12 hours, some of us thought this was optimistic – we just wanted to finish it in one piece since most of us hadn’t trained for the event. “We had all the gear but no idea!”
We started at Horton in Ribblesdale at 7.00am in bright sunshine, eager to start the ascent of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, without realising what a 5200 feet climb might actually entail.
Because of the range of abilities we eventually formed two main groups. The first group powered off, their goal being to achieve the fastest time possible. Matt O’Shaughnessy was in the lead group. “I’d never done it before but I play football and go to the gym so we were able to maintain a fast pace” he said. “Weather conditions were good throughout and although it was hard on the knees and joints coming downhill it was really enjoyable. We got back within nine hours and had time to enjoy a well-earned pint. Would I do it again? Yes, but not for a couple of years. Maybe then the National Three Peaks.”
In our group it was slow going with blisters, knee joints and wisdom teeth all causing problems. When we got to the foot of Ingleborough after 18 miles it started pouring with rain. From then on it was a hard slog, difficult conditions, clambering up rocks on the way up and sliding down them on the descent. Amanda Hodgson and I were Three Peaks first timers. We were initially scared of the unknown but despite the fear and hellish conditions of Ingleborough we are both aiming to to do it again in the near future.
We all owe a big thank you to Richard Long who acted as back marker, encouraging us to keep going when our spirits were lowest. You can tell he’s in Health & Safety, he has the patience of a saint. Our group fell over the line, exhausted and wet through around 8pm. Of the 18 who started 12 of us finished but we are all proud of everyone’s commitment to push themselves to the limit and we can now look back and laugh at the difficult moments and remember it as being a great personal achievement, raising over £400 for our charities.