After managing to raise £6k for Cancer Research last year running London Marathon I knew I wanted to do something else for Cancer research and being me wanted to raise even more money! I knew I couldn’t do it on my own so I decided to recruit a group of determined, strong women to help me.
I’d always wanted to do the three peak challenge. I started asking a variety of girls I knew who would be up for taking the challenge. Plan was to nail the challenge and raise as much money as possible in the process. After asking around I managed to put together a team of 24 amazing ladies. Challenge date June 1st 2013.
We kicked off the fundraising with my Extravaganza 2 which I put on again at Bethnal Green Working Mans Club. Following that Lauren put on a great fundraiser at Lumiere’s in Clapton. A variety of acts, mainly burlesque, she even made special Cancer Research cocktails. Caroline put on a cabaret night, at Paper Dress Vintage in Shoreditch, a fantastic, very entertaining eve with a whole range of acts. Katie locked herself away in her kitchen and cooked like she had never cooked before to put a bake sale on at work. Donning a low cut top as she wheeled cakes around her office to maximise on sales! Sarah held a coffee morning at home in Surbiton. Laura did what she does best and put on a rave with a great line up of DJ’s in Clapham. We got sponsorship from Mel’s company UK Forex as well as donations from Llyods TSB where Natalie worked and Investec where Katie worked. We set up a joint Just Giving Page and started getting sponsorship. Towards the date of the challenge the page spiraled out of control donations came in thick and fast. We raised £25,222 for Cancer Research, more than I ever expected. The team and I were elated, we were constantly on the phone to each other discussing the totals with squeaks of excitement as the money increased. I still can’t believe we raised over £25k, it made the hard work so worth while.
I found a company called Challenge Central to help us with the challenge. I thought it was better to have a group of professionals rather than trying to get everyone up and downs the mountains myself. They were great, they put up with 24 girls for starters!!
We met at Kings Cross station to get the overnight train to Glasgow. Once on board we hit the bar. As 24 girls crammed into the bar carriage I’m not sure they knew what had hit them. We were quite controlled and made it to bed with good time as we knew we had the challenge in the morning.
Once in Glasgow we had a few hours to kill so went to a cafe Beth had booked for breakfast. We went shopping, painted our nails (both essential for hiking up mountains), picked up snacks and met the Challenge Central team.
We started the challenge at 5pm starting with Ben Nevis.
We stormed up the mountain and made good time. It was covered in snow at the top and the scenery was breath taking. On the way down we had a few problems with knees but we managed to clear the mountain in good time.
We drove through the night to Skarfell Pike in the Lake District. Skarfell Pike was steeper than Ben Nevis and silence hit the group as we marched up the mountain in single file! We spent about one min at the top before going straight back down, it was so windy. It was on this mountain I was the proudest of the girls. Watching their faces as they tackled Skarfell Pike at a stupidly early time in the morning. I knew some of them were really hating it, there was not one moan, everyone just got on with the challenge ahead, I couldn’t have been prouder of my bad arse bitches!
Lastly we drove onto Snowdon. This mountain was the one we all really went for. To complete the challenge you set aside 11 hours for driving and then 13 hours for the mountain climbs. We had been stuck in traffic and lost a bit of time but a few of us were determined to stick to the 24 hour clock and finish by 5pm. We started running up the mountain. Hannah was off and not even the guide could keep up with her! She was the first to finish. Lauren, Helen and I weren’t far behind. Helen marched up quicker than Lauren and I but when we hit the top we started the decent together. Lauren broke into a faster running pace than Helen and I. We stuck together running down what seemed like the never ending mountain! We made it within the 24 hour clock with 5 mins to spare and the four of us fell into a celebration hug at the bottom. Perfectly situated was a pub at the bottom of the mountain. We sat with a beer cheering as each of the girls came with not much between each other. Everyone made the challenge within the 24 hours challenge time. What a team. I couldn’t have been prouder as I saw each team member appear at the bottom of the mountain.
Once all down, beers drunk and final group picture taken we drove straight to the pub for dinner. I admit once we had done it, I was finished. Months of planning, fundraising, training and worrying if we could do it, we had. We hadn’t just achieved it, we nailed it. I was so happy but there was nothing left in the tank, my chat was very limited! We all got our medals and the girls got me the most lovely card I will keep forever. The camaraderie, the positivity, the teamwork, the determination that the girls all showed was amazing. What an achievement, from my initial idea these girls made it reality, I am very lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people.
This three peak challenge is dedicated to all those between us we have lost to cancer. We were definitely sticking our two fingers up at cancer that day and we chose Cancer Research as we want the money to go towards finding a cure and stopping the pain this disease brings to many people lives.