Three Peaks 24 hour Challenge Accomplished

Cherry Lodge sends a big thank you to Daniel Coyle and his friends for raising money for us by taking on the very demanding but inspiring Three Peaks 24 hour Challenge. The Challenge was accomplished – with only two minutes to spare! – over the weekend of 4th-5th July 2015. There is still time to sponsor Dan for this great achievement – please visit his JustGiving page to donate to our very good cause, helping people affected by cancer living in our local community, including Dan’s mother, Margaret. On 25th July, the total raised, including Gift Aid, was getting on for £1800. It would be brilliant to push it even higher!

To complete the challenge, Dan (with climbing companions, Mike Cardno, Jonny Ferguson and Stephen Fruzynski) had to climb the highest peaks in Scotland (Ben Nevis, 1344m), England (Scafell Pike, 978m) and Wales (Snowdon, 1085m), all within a 24-hour time limit. This time limit also includes the drive between them, which was ably undertaken by Jonny and his father-in-law, Neil Brack.

Daniel grew up in Totteridge, went to Aberdeen University (where he met his climbing friends) and is now a PE teacher in Aberdeen while doing a part-time post. grad. in primary PE at Edinburgh. In 2003, aged 16, he climbed Kilimanjaro. He has also taken part twice in the London Marathon, in 2010 and 2012, despite claiming he is by no means an athlete! His love of mountain climbing came from his mother, who herself climbed Ben Nevis in 1994, and  he remembers being inspired by that. She always took the family on ‘walking’ holidays all over the UK.

Dan has kindly supplied us with photographs and the following account of some high and low points during this fundraising adventure.

Our 24 hour Challenge

Click on the small images below to see larger, complete photographs. The first photograph shows, from left to right, Stephen, Mike, Jonny and Dan. The last photo shows Dan with driver Neil.

“We started on Ben Nevis with good weather at 4.40 pm on Saturday 4th July, meant to be 5 pm but we were raring to go! Full of enthusiasm, we blasted the first steep part of the UK’s highest peak but very unfortunately that led to me pulling my hamstring and thigh as I approached the summit. It wasn’t fun as I got stopped in my tracks several times in the tough conditions of ice and snow. I thought the challenge was over for me but the boys – Jonny, Mike and F – were brilliant and gave me the boost I needed. After slipping on the snow a few times, I got to the top and enjoyed a nice whisky!

Then came the journey down the mountain, which was agony but luckily the weather was nice and the views were simply breathtaking. Got down at around 9.40 pm and we were all in good spirits knowing we had made good time, as predicted, and the biggest one was out of the way. We quickly ordered a fish supper in Fort William, which ended up taking ages to arrive. There was worse to come – the sat nav stopped working en route to Scafell Pike so all in we lost an hour and a half.

We quickly darted out of the van at 5 am to start Scafell Pike, but still no sleep and no time to stretch my destroyed hamstring and thigh. The Pike was a different kind of beast, short but steep the whole way with no ‘rest bite’. We made it to the top in great time and then with a sudden burst of second wind sped down the mountain knowing we had to make up as much of that hour and a half lost in transit as possible.

We were in the van again within 3 hours of finishing Scafell Pike, so we had got the hour back but there was still about half an hour lost. The drive to Snowdon was long and tiredness started to creep in, although I couldn’t sleep with all that caffeine and sugar in me! Starting Snowdon was very hard, my body was done in but my mind overcame it and despite the relentless rain at the start I powered through to get up and down Snowdon in 3 hours 38 minutes. I  had completed the 24 hour challenge with just 2 minutes to spare and the sun was shining! What really kept me going through the toughest points was knowing what my mum went through, like other cancer sufferers, is 100 times worse. I also had to honour the amount raised by the great sponsorship response.

Neil Brack – Jonny’s father in law – then drove us to our lake view hotel where a few pints were had. Neil was fantastic and I couldn’t have done it without him putting himself forward to drive and also, of course, without the boys who kept me going throughout. A special mention is due to Jonny, who helped with the driving and also organised everything from choosing the route to booking the van. It has been an absolute pleasure raising that amount for a charity who has been brilliant to my mum and many others in Barnet. My JustGiving sponsorship page will stay open for a month after the challenge was completed.”