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.
PEAK 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 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 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!
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
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!