The Yorkshire 3 peaks – A near death experience

Every year on May bank holiday our family, some friends and whoever else dare all meet around 8am at Horton-in-Ribblesdale and start out on the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge – 3 peaks & 25 miles in under 12 hours. I have never done it as I have always been pregnant, just had a baby or generally wasn’t having any of it. I’ve done all 3 peaks individually in my lifetime and never saw the need to endure bogs, fatigue and aching muscles only to do them all in the same day – at least until we lost Poppy and then it seemed like the perfect opportunity to raise some £s for charity in her remembrance…And so I write this from the sofa – unable to move and barely even walk, to get downstairs was AGONY and my voice is some what strained too, you might be mistaken in thinking I have the flu, but I don’t, instead I wrecked my body yesterday and strained my voice yelling and whining, all whilst enduring “The Yorkshire 3 Peaks”.

3 peaks, 25.something miles, 55,429 steps in 11.5 hours…im sunburnt, my back KILLS, my right leg can barely move for the agony in my knee and groin, my arms feel like I have done 100 bench presses, my feet are in pain (but surprisingly only 1 blister), all my muscles HURT and Im generally wrecked. There were several times I thought / felt I was going to die, couldn’t possibly finish it and wanted to even cry, but I continued and as a result we raised over £200 for the hospice in her remembrance and feel an awesome sense of accomplishment.
WP_20150525_14_15_15_ProPEAK 1 – Pen-y-ghent
This was so much harder than I anticipated, the walk to the base lured me into a false sense of security that this would be a breeze. As we began to climb my legs started burning immediatly and I started wheezing with intensity of work and altitude. Thankfully someone in our party had a blue inhaler which made coming down feel amazing until we hit the bogs – it made for lots of laughs, wet feet and my foot got stuck causing me to fall over. I came off better than several others that had to be dragged out!!!
peak 1PEAK 2 – Whernside
We stopped for lunch by the viaduct (a place of fond memories from my childhood) and then for reasons I shall never understand everyone wanted to climb up the steepest part of the mountain as oppose to using the footpath?! It ticked me off and the higher we got the more pain and trouble my hip was causing. I took A LOT of rests up this one before climbing on hand and feet to the top. On the way down we met an old man doing it backwards (legend) to which I commented on what a pro he looked…he thought Id said he looked like a prune, it was awkward, held us up but created lots of laughs!
peak 2
PEAK  3 – Ingleborough
Ingleborough has always been my fave mountain, we climbed it loads as kids, yet I do not remember how hard it was to how I found it this time. Perhaps because i’d already walked 19miles? perhaps because im old? This was the biggest challenge for me. It was where Nath had enough and as we started to climb (again on hands and feet) the wind blew, my body killed, my mind was struggling to keep poso and I had some overwhelming anxiety that I was about to plumit to my death (I didn’t) but Nath kept me going and we made it to the top – it was sunny and fabulous views briefly until the cloud and mist hit again. I had to hold myself up on this pointer!
IMG_0773WP_20150525_17_50_24_Pro
The Final Leg
This felt so good mentally – no more mountains,  beautiful evening sunshine and the village in sight. Physically however my legs were almost numb with pain, my shoulders tight and sore and hands swollen, feet sodden and muddy, yet when I saw the sign that said “1 mile” I got a burst of energy and almost ran to the end. VICTORY. It felt wonderful. 11.5hrs…WE.DID.IT

IMG_0774last leg

THanks a million
*To everyone that sponsored us (heres the link if you still want to – every little helps – https://www.justgiving.com/Mary-Smith23/)

*To my new friends that kept up moral and kept us going with lots of convo
*For the kid with the inhaler to save my life at the top of peak one (meaning I could continue and no air ambulance needed)
*For people that waited when we were lagging
*For all the banter
*To Nath for supporting me and coming along
*To our cousin Maems for the Paracetomol to help me the 2nd half
*To our Brother in law John for organising it and giving me plenty to whine, laugh and get worked up about

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR   I will NEVER do that again! 

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20 Comments

    • May 27, 2015 / 8:55 am

      Thank you – it was! I thought id loose my mind a few times, so mentally challenging and day 2 after I can just about walk lol x

  1. May 27, 2015 / 6:26 pm

    Well done x 1000! It is so hard and that Ingleborough is the worst at the end. We stopped for lunch on the top of Whernside. I did it for my Dad who loved walking and the Dales – he died when I was pregnant. I so wish I could have done it with him but I hope he knows I did it. I remember the aching after and the next morning. The first time I did it with a friend who couldn’t walk by the end so it took us 3 HOURS to do the last 5 miles. I was so peed off. The second time in the evening I felt really sicky and shaky – reckon overdone it! You got a great time and raised loads for a fab cause. Thanks so much for linking with #bestandworst and please come back next week!! xx

    • May 27, 2015 / 6:53 pm

      Hahahha “really peed off” that made me laugh out loud! Thanks Sarah, I really love your linky idea and just came across it this morning…ill be sure to be a regular 😉 Its so intense for sure and I think doing it in remembrance of someone keeps you going and helps you focus a little, it also adds to the mental strain…all the way up whernside I was like “ugh if she hadn’t have died I wouldnt be doing this right now”! Well done to you too for being able to complete it, time aside you know what an accomplishment that is and your dad would be super proud of you im sure, I bet you felt close to him knowing it was a place he loved. xx

  2. May 27, 2015 / 8:16 pm

    Well done you! What an amazing achievement, I want to do it too now! #bestandworst

    • May 29, 2015 / 8:01 am

      You most definitely should. It wasn’t very pleasant but then something thats good to experience and look back and say “I did that”! Go on do it 🙂 be prepared for pain and mental fatigue too but you can do it….xx

  3. Angela Milnes
    May 28, 2015 / 12:52 am

    Well done Mary! 🙂

  4. May 28, 2015 / 12:48 pm

    Well done you!! What an achievement, I’m not sure I’d be able to do it! Thanks so much for linking up to #bestandworst and hope to see you again next week!

    Helen X

    • May 29, 2015 / 7:57 am

      Thanks Helen – I do look back now after some recovery and think “wow as if I actually did it”. Yes it feels good. And I really like this linky idea so of course I hope to be a regular 😉 x

  5. May 28, 2015 / 7:53 pm

    Wow what a great achievement, you must be so proud of yourself! I could never ever do anything like that, respect! X #bestandworst

    • May 29, 2015 / 7:54 am

      Hahaha I think anyone can Becky, its very “mind over matter” in places and whilst its horrendous you get there in the end. I didn’t really train either so it could’ve been easier in that sense. Thanks for stopping by x

  6. Carie
    May 28, 2015 / 11:01 pm

    Wowee!! Well done you that’s absolutely amazing – I hope you recover soon!!

    • May 29, 2015 / 7:52 am

      Thank you Carie – as do I hahaha To be honest 4 days on everything feels a tonne better, still aches here and there but walking abilities have significantly improved.

  7. June 1, 2015 / 10:07 pm

    I love how you said it’s near death! Hahaha. It feels like that after about 18 miles! and the end drags on and on…but how amazing that you and Nath did it? So proud! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Well done! I’m beyond gutted that I’ve missed doing it for the last 3 years – new baby and being away for two! Booo! xxxx

    • June 2, 2015 / 9:20 am

      Hahaha for your body 18, for mine about 12 lol I am so glad we did do it and can say “yes we did that” – I’m really not sure if ill ever get dragged into it again though – lets hope for a baby/pregnancy excuse next year 😉 if not id consider doing it in reverse…far easier paths and route xx

  8. Tim
    July 8, 2017 / 11:29 am

    Just sat on my sofa at the moment with my legs raised after doing the 3 peaks yesterday. My knees are killing me and yes, getting down the stairs was agony.

    Well done for doing it. Its a mental challenge, but also physical. I was in so much pain before we reached the second peak. It was tough, but i wanted my kids to be proud of me.

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