Friends hit peak performance

SCAFELL Pike? Easy. Ben Nevis? Child's play. Snowdon? Piece of cake.

Tom Potter

SCAFELL Pike? Easy. Ben Nevis? Child's play. Snowdon? Piece of cake.

A group of eight friends have conquered one of the toughest walking challenges in less than a day!

The team decided to attempt the famous three peaks challenge, which involves climbing the highest mountains of England, Scotland and Wales in 24 hours, to raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EACH).

That's 10,000 feet of climbing, 25 miles of walking, and around 460 miles of driving crammed into 24 hours.

They were inspired to do something for the charity after hearing about its involvement in helping Ipswich mother Lisa Holmes when she was injured in a bus crash earlier this year.

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Although she was not taken to hospital by the air ambulance, the crew were at the scene and provided specialist paramedic assistance. Mrs Holmes spent four months in Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge after suffering serious injuries but is now at home recovering well.

Nick Richardson, from Kesgrave, John-Paul McManus, from Martlesham and James Bass, from Nacton, joined Matt Watkins, Andy Hollis, Sam Richardson, Matt Richardson and Andrew Smallwood, all from Ipswich, in completing the challenge with a leisurely 25 minutes to spare - enough time to fly the Ipswich Town flag from the summit of each peak.

Not only did the boys have to scale each mountain, they had to transport themselves and their equipment from one to the next.

Sam Richardson spoke on behalf of the group, saying: “Normally we are office bods but for one weekend we put mind over matter and completed something truly remarkable.

“We defied the pain our bodies were in to push on and finish the challenge as a complete group.”

“The magnitude of the challenge did not sink in because of the overwhelming pain, but we soon grouped together for handshakes and high fives.

- Have you gone out of your way to raise money for a good cause? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

The size of the challenge:

At 978 metres (3,209 ft), the Lake District's Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England.

But it's dwarfed slightly by Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the Britain, standing 1344m (4,409 ft) tall in the Lochaber area of Scotland.

Snowdon is no mean feat either, lying at an altitude of 1,085 m (3,560 ft) and holding the title of highest mountain in Wales.

Sam Richardson chronicles the journey he made with his seven friends:

The Challenge was very tough. Setting out at 7.30am at the foot of Ben Nevis we started in very high spirits determined to complete the challenge for EACH but soon the magnitude of the challenge ahead hit home.

We soldiered on and reached the summit of Ben Nevis within two-and-a-half hours.

After a small break we started the descent very quickly with our group putting in some hard work and at times breaking into a run to complete the descent quicker.

We then took the long drive to Scafell Pike where we arrived at around 5.45pm.

Eventually, after it seemed like we had walked for days, we reached the summit with the wind howling across us.

We needed to start our descent as light was fading. We switched to our headlights and reached our van and mobile home at 11pm. Our driver, Craig, pushed on hard to Wales but Scafell had put us behind schedule so we were up against it.

We reached Snowdon at 3am and just wanted to get on with it so walked swiftly the first few miles.

We finally got there and knew that we only had to get down one mountain to complete the challenge.

We completed the 250m descent down the side of the mountain but still had a three mile walk to the finish so we started to jog and came over the line together as one fantastic team in a time of 23.35hrs.

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