On Saturday, in 14 hours and 15 minutes, Matt and Joe conquered 200 climbs of the Peak District, thus completing the team’s second challenge of the year! Despite being near the summer solstice, the early morning mist persisted and developed into showers. Evidently, this is becoming a theme of our challenge days now; even if it was more welcome during the marathon back in March.
Setting off at 0730 at arguably the most famous crag in the National Park, Stanage Edge, the task ahead seemed, to put it mildly, daunting. Could it be possible to complete 200 of these climbs? Would we be here all day and all night? Following the pre-selected routes Joe had meticulously labelled in the book, the climbs, ranging from MOD to HVS, soon began to add up; by 0930 20 climbs had been completed and the mood was upbeat. Could Matt and Joe’s bodies tolerate the relentless thrashing they were subjecting themselves to?
Frankly, the support team were having a tough time of it too. Led by Ollie, they were running around like headless chickens just to keep up and make enough tea! By 3pm when the team had moved to Burbage, 100 climbs had been completed and it seemed like darkness would fall and this would never be complete, unfortunately Matt and Joe had to pick the pace. Luckily, the weather did clear and the final 40 climbs at Birchen were enjoyed in the setting sun. Some sudden energy provided by members of the public and HSX turning out to congratulate them, meant that by 10pm and the final climb in-hand, there was enough time to get back to the car whilst it was still light and head back to the camp for a well-deserved beer and sleep!
“It feels amazing to have completed a year’s worth of a person’s climbing in just 24hrs! This is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my climbing career and really couldn’t have done it without the support of the team! If there’s anything you attempt this year, then attempt this! – But remember to be careful in the shower afterwards, your fingers are going to burn like hell!” – Joe
“You never really know what to expect with these challenges, until you’re halfway through you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. We train hard, but that’s only half the battle. The team play a massive part on the day; without their support you couldn’t keep going for as long. It’s like a big family, when one person is down you bring them back up and all keep going. That’s what will be vital in Antarctica which these challenges help us to refine; family spirit and brotherhood.” – Matt
These challenges are all in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, which provides support for sufferers of MND and their families, whilst undertaking never ending research to find a cure. Thanks go to David and Debbie Robinson who came to take photos of the team and to you all for following our progress on the challenge day and as we continue our Antarctic journey. Our next challenge will be on August 22nd, and will see the team complete a triathlon on the Isle of Wight; the largest island in England. Cycling its 64-mile circumference, running 13 miles North-South and a swim!