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John O' Groats to Lands End - via the Three Peaks!
I'm always grateful when people send me their stories of their walks up the peaks or their attempts (and successes) at the Three Peaks Challenge. The stories continually amaze me how people push themselves to the limits, either for charity, or simply to prove to themselves that they can do it.
But Kevin's story currently tops the lot! As well as cycling from John o'Groats to Lands End, he took in the Three Peaks and a one mile swim along the way.
Read his story below. And I have to ask, can anyone top this??
A friend of mine has recently read your article looking for three peaks accounts. Thought you may be interested in this.
In 2010 I foolishly agreed to complete the climb of all Three Peaks but to make things a little more interesting I would cycle between each mountain.
Kevin at his starting point
On through Glen Coe (never disappoints) and Glasgow. The rain and wind combined to make the 100 miles to Carlisle very painful, in parts struggling to keep 10mph.
Next was a quick 55 miles into Windermere and joined in the 1mile swim. It was drier in the water!! If that's possible!
I climbed Scafell Pike from Borrowdale and the Corridor route. Truly magnificent scenery and coming down Seathwaite was equally as good -there were scenes that could have come from King Kong or the Last of the Mohicans, non-stop waterfalls and mountains. The weather and wind were unkind, but determination is the only way to grind out this mountain in those conditions.
I rode onward through Liverpool and the Mersey ferry to finish in the rain 125 miles later in staging post of Corwen. I rode to Pen-y-pass and changed in the toilets to scamper up the Miners Track of Snowdon and returned on the Pyg Trail. The summit matched the other two and blew a gale with plenty rain. I had to check that it WAS June.
The biking distance should have been 65 miles, but I added 20 mile and a full climb of the Llanberis pass due to poor navigation.
The following few days saw me riding in some decent weather via Shrewsbury and Monmouth over the River Severn and the Clifton Suspension Bridge to Crediton. A big effort of 122 miles for the last day saw me being hammered in the final miles with a blistering cold headwind and rain. Cheers Cornwall!
But Lands End was in the bag.
That's the way I bagged the Three Peaks. 12 days, 3 mountains, 1 big swim and 1007 miles (navigational errors included) and thanks to lots of very kind people I put £7500 into the Stan Bowley Trust.
Ben Nevis Summit
Triumph at Lands End!
Congratulations to Kevin!
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I set off from John O Groats on 13th June 2011 into a strong headwind and teaming rain. The cafe stop proved to be colder inside than out. It was a sign of things to come. Ben Nevis did not disappoint. Fine weather at low level gave way to low cloud and rain midway up. As my journey was unsupported and my daily mileage above 100 miles each day I was traveling light and at the summit was wearing everything I was carrying including my bag.
Having added up the mileage it made some sort of twisted sense to combine all Three Peaks with a John o' Groats to Lands End cycle ride and to cool down by taking part in the British Gas Great North Swim in Lake Windermere. A pretty good triathlon you might agree.
The plan was hatched (when I was sober) to raise funds for the Stan Bowley Trust. This charity aims to raise awareness and recognition of robotic radio therapy in the UK. It was started after a colleague in Staffordshire Police received Cyberknife treatment in the USA but was required to pay for it. This treatment allows cancer sufferers to receive pinpoint radiotherapy to the tumour without damaging surrounding tissue. It is only available privately in the UK.