- North West RU team head for the hills
- Birthday walk provides perfect timing
The North West Rugby Union Development Team group are not a superstitious band, so when they elected to tackle the challenge of scaling the three highest peaks in the UK in 24 hours, they had no issues about heading off to Fort William to tackle Ben Nevis on Friday, July 13.
More important to the team of 16 travelling to Scotland to start the challenge was the fact that the purpose of their effort was to treasure the memory of one of their number, Ian Thompson, who tragically lost his battle with cancer last August. He was born on July 13.
‘Tommo’ must have been looking down as the sun shone on Ben Nevis as they started the adventure on Friday afternoon at 5pm, a tough climb being rewarded with some fantastic views, although there was no time to dawdle and they quickly polished off the 10.5-mile, 1344m climb to be back on the road by 9:45pm.
The drivers then took up the mantle, driving through the night to arrive at Scafell Pike in the sleepy Lake District just before 4am. This was the “Let’s just get this one done” mountain. Starting in the dark, head torches and all, we made really good ground and everyone was up and down the 6 mile, 989m accent within 3 and half hours.
Once again traffic was favourable and the party arrived at Snowdon in North Wales just before 1pm. On target time wise, but lacking sleep and tiring legs meant that it was going to be tight, but the adrenaline kicked in and some were even able get a jog on for the final stretch of the 7.5mile trek.
All 11 of the team who set out to conquer the 3 Peaks 24 hour challenge achieved it and with time to spare!
Even the support team managed to get a good walk on Ben Nevis and Sarah, Ian’s wife, joined the team for the Snowdon leg and showed the older guys how it should be done.
“July 13 is Ian’s birthday so we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate his life and the memories we all treasure from having the chance to meet and get to know such a great man,” said Rachel Brown.
“Ian always liked a challenge and so when the planning started we wanted to do something that we knew would make him proud and hopefully we did that. A great team effort from everyone walking and the support team meant we succeeded in the challenge and will hopefully end up raising a good sum of money for a very worthy cause.”
The team was: Aaron Howarth, Alan Hubbleday, Andrea Faull, Dave Livesey, Dave Southern, Garry Holmes, Jo Hubbleday, Liam Nicholls, Lowena Sandercock, Mark Sutcliffe, Martin Grealish, Oliver Richardson, Phil Clarke, Rachel Brown, Sarah Thompson, Tony Robinson and Trevor Richardson.
There is still the opportunity to donate to a very worthy cause by contacting http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/RFUNW3peaksIThompson