AVR have eleven athletes take on the 2013 National Three-Peaks Challenge
PUBLISHED: 11:11 14 August 2013 | UPDATED: 11:11 14 August 2013
What is life without a challenge? Unlike many good resolutions this one had strengthened in proportion to its removal in time from the initial idea in September 2012 that inspired it, writes Dave Mutter.
The National 3 Peaks Challenge involves reaching the highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours, a total of 26 miles.
The minibus, drivers, fuel, route, food, etc. were meticulously planned beginning with a Monday 7.15 am start from Seaton to begin the 12 hour drive to Fort William in Scotland.
Axe Valley Runners Eleanor Wood, Paul Tolchard, Paul Johns, Graham Newton, Tim and James Sibley, Alan and Matt Morbey, Rich Dodge, Jon Day and Richard Hale began the challenge with an ascent of Scotland’s 1344 metres’ high Ben Nevis at 8.10 pm.
The damp, swirling cloud shrouded summit was reached at twilight after a climb up the well-defined stony track that soon became increasingly rocky, arduous and exposed. Head torches were essential for the dark return descent to Glen Nevis and the awaiting hot drinks and energy foods.
There was little sleep to be had during the 255-mile drive through the early hours to Wasdale in the Lake District for the ascent of England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike at 978 metres.
The cloud capped summit was reached after negotiating a path through the large stone outcrops and all runners returning safely.
Expectations were high while on the last 207 miles road section of the Challenge to Snowdonia in Wales.
The summit of Snowdon lies at 1085 metres and was reached on the winding slate and stone Pyg Path, undulating and steep in places with loose stone and shale.
The runners regrouped at the top for photographs and to absorb the spectacular mountain views in bright afternoon sunshine in all directions. Excitement and adrenalin levels were high for the final descent to Pen y Pass before the 24-hour deadline and all 11 runners completed the Challenge with time to spare.
Congratulations and excitement in the car park rose into the early evening air. Revelry and celebrations of a remarkable team achievement continued again later at the Royal Oak Pub in Betws y Coed as it would be a distant memory soon enough.
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