The title of this blog is inspired by a message I received on Facebook recently when proudly announcing the fifth of the EPIC7 challenges.
Inspiration is a large part of why I do what I do. So far my EPIC7 challenges seem to have inspired and impressed a lot of people, most importantly all my sponsors and Westgrove Group from the very start but even some extreme ultra-marathoners and hardcore outdoor enthusiasts. Others are simply gobsmacked at the scale and suffering involved, and why I would volunteer to put myself through this… not once, but seven times. And that’s before Everest! ‘Is that not enough!?’ they ask. Others put it more ruefully and this chap thought I was mad, throwing a few swear words in for added effect.
So, on that note, I’m err…. glad to announce the next challenge is the first ever unsupported attempt of the 3 Peaks Cycle Challenge. 450 miles cycling and walking up the 3 highest mountains in the UK, in just 3 days (72 hours). But without a support vehicle to give me drinks, food, warm clothes, a spare wheel or just a bloody good hug.
Why? Because my challenges are designed to be innovative, to push me to my limits and to be different. They’re preparing me for the top of the world. This hasn’t been done in this style before, as far as I’m aware. I’ve been hugely inspired by other adventurers who have completed the 3 Peaks Cycle and have been tapping their brains recently to learn and prevent another sequel to Mr Bean’s Holiday that Chester2Chamonix became. Big thanks to Russell Smith, Adrian Lomas, Gerard Martin and Sophie Radcliffe for their input. I don’t want things to go perfectly- that’s not adventure- just for things to go better and I’m confident this time all will be good- albeit tougher in some ways.
The provisional dates are 20-22nd October. When I have my full itinerary confirmed before the challenge, I’ll happily share the details here but to begin with, it involves 140 miles cycling and one mountain per day, carrying about 10kg of stuff, cold weather, cycling and climbing in the dark (except Scafell Pike) and staying in YHA Hostels on the way. Only on reflection have I realised that with my last challenge- the ‘unexploded land mines’ sign that I saw at 1am whilst lost on the way to Chamonix, must have been a hallucination. These are quite normal and I expect to be even worse off after this one. Probably burning over 6000kcals a day and sleep deprivation will be my biggest obstacle- but having just started a strict and scientific diet plan with my personal trainers I’m already far better equipped and enjoying seeing progress in my performance already.
The EPIC7 challenges so far have travelled over 1058 miles, climbed 62,576 vertical feet, involved 102 hours 46 minutes of endurance exercise and 4 bike crashes. Not bad eh?
And some press coverage so far:
http://www.garyspinks.com/everest-the-epic-challenge/ (been very grateful for Gary’s support so far)
A special shoutout to all who shared my Facebook post last week as promised: Steve Fives, Northwest Alive, Dave Farmer, Christina See, Kim Burns, Simon Lewis, SVL Adventures, Going Solo Adventures, Richard Bazeley, Paul Everitt, and Explorers of our time.
Had a brilliant talk at the RAF Club in London last week- guest speaker for ABTA Lifeline fundraising dinner. Very humbled and a lovely event for a good cause. An honour to have shared my story and a great audience.
Saving the pudding to last… some exciting news coming very soon. So glad to have a formidable support team around me to help me achieve my potential. Sometimes we can’t see the wood for the trees and we have to cut them down first to find amazing things around the corner when we least expect it. All is looking very good for Everest 2015 and everyone is confident business will be as usual.