I hope you’re keeping well, which has albeit taken on a very real meaning recently.
In 3 weeks I was due to begin my attempt to run the National Three Peaks Challenge. This involves climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and Snowdon, and running the entire 450-mile distance between them, self-supported, in the fastest known time.
There are obviously far more important and urgent matters unfolding in the world that should rightly be the focus of our attention and efforts. But many followers have asked about the challenge going ahead so I felt it was important to post an update.
Understandably the challenge can’t take place so soon with the current restrictions and uncertainty of what lays ahead. We all have a role to play in bringing the virus under control by exercising close to home, social distancing, and not putting any extra strain on the emergency services – which is always a real possibility in the mountains and endurance challenges. It would frankly be irresponsible to give the wrong message and encourage people to come and join me on the mountains, yet it would also be a shame for people not to be able to take part. Live streaming from a mountain won’t quite do the job.
Many athletes have had target races cancelled, holidays postponed and fundraising halted, whilst others have simply lost their weekly Parkrun routine and social circle. Meanwhile others have lost their jobs, businesses, friends and relatives, or even their own lives to COVID-19. Dreams can be replaced – lives cannot.
The cause behind the 3 Peaks is now more important than ever. We founded Mind Over Mountains earlier this year to restore mental health through outdoor experiences. We never could have anticipated that we would need to prepare ourselves for an even bigger mental health crisis that is already being felt in many ways throughout society. Now we’re even more determined that we can provide the support for those who need us most. Hopefully, the 3 Peaks Challenge can smash the £10,000 target to achieve this by funding more Mind Over Mountains events and bursaries to help people find some respite in the mountains.
In every disaster it’s important to either find the positives or create them. Recent events have been a great example of British solidarity and I’m sure we can all take inspiration from Captain Tom Moore raising £22 million by doing laps of his garden at the age of 99.
I’ve felt hugely grateful for my family, friends and health for my coach, Damian Hall, for keeping morale and my physio, Jane, for getting me back running after losing a month of quality training to tendonitis. Right now, I’ve never been more grateful for the opportunity to run just for the simple sake of running and staying mentally well. A massive thanks also to my headline sponsors, Westgrove Group, who have committed to cover my challenge costs to make it possible and so that all money raised goes directly to support Mind Over Mountains.
Although it’s currently hard to say when, as soon as safely possible this year (hopefully later this summer), I’ll be even more prepared to take on the challenge. When I began training last November I never anticipated a sprained ankle on week one, recurring tendonitis, nor a global pandemic. Running the 3 Peaks and 450 miles in 8 days will almost be the easy part!
When the time is right to do it properly, I hope my 3 Peaks challenge too can bring people back together once again.
Until then, stay safe and thanks for your support.
Mind Over Mountains is currently a C.I.C pending registration from the charity commission which we expect to receive very soon. We are still able to receive GiftAided donations via LocalGiving if you’re kindly able to DONATE HERE.