“One In A Million is a charity that works with children and young people, through sports, the arts and enterprise. Using formal and informal education to break cycles of deprivation over their young lives, valuing and celebrating their uniqueness, letting them know they are ‘one in a million’”.
(Co-founder, Acting Chief Executive, Wayne Jacobs).
It’s our city! It’s our time! Let’s make it count!!
One Man's Tale of the Three Peaks Challenge (Craig)
A huge thank you to everyone who sponsored us all on the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge, which took place on Saturday in the most horrendous weather imaginable. Here's a little snippet of how the day went.
We had our “safety briefing” at 6.30am where we were cheerfully told the good news that was there was a 10% chance of sun. Safety briefing, I mean, who needs one of them just to climb a couple of hills? Anyway, we set off at 7am towards Pen-y-ghent, which looks an easy enough climb from the car park (things always look good from a distance).
True to plan, the rain and storms arrived as soon as we started the first ascent up to the peak. It was a shock to the system and really hard work climbing the slippy rocky terrain especially with a sheer drop on the right hand side if you took a tumble (but a nice way to die I suppose!). Already out of breath, we hit the first peak after just 1 hour 20, so I thought that although the heart rate was racing like an amphetamine addict, it should be a doddle, even the bouncing down rain which had started to soak in to the clearly-not-so-waterproof boots wasn’t going to put me off as we took a ‘nice gentle 5 or 6 mile country walk’ back down the mountain towards Ribblehead Viaduct.
I’d say that walking down a mountain trail is even harder on the old legs, or maybe equally just as hard, as it is going up it. I didn’t really care which side of the argument was winning in my head, I just knew it was hard as you can’t take decent strides going downhill, and it kills, and you need to get to the next mountain. I would call it “pussyfooting” if you get my drift!
Hitting Ribblehead Viaduct we headed up towards Whernside, which takes in some wonderful scenery such as Blea Moor and the Force Gill Waterfall, but you don’t really appreciate these things in the pouring rain as you start the long tortuous trek up to the summit. There’s no level ground at all, just a constant never ending steep uphill strain, but with gusting winds and horizontal rain slapping you right in the face as though it is doing it on purpose angrily for daring to venture onto its land.
By now the legs are turning to jelly and the ability to even lift the right leg up the next step started to become a bit like mission impossible. But just before 1pm (so 6 hours in) we managed to get to the summit point. I highly recommend the trek back down to the level ground from the top of Whernside, it’s really comical as there’s one bit where everybody else just falls on their backsides due to the steep descent and the boggy ground. It’s really comical, until it happens to you. Down I go, mud up my a***, arm lands awkwardly, it’s still pouring it down and I’m unable to get up! But as Wayne Jacobs said (the Chief Exec of the charity which supports the young people in Bradford who we were doing the challenge for) at the very beginning prior to us setting off, “when it gets really bad, just think of the kids”. Hmmm…if you say so mate!
Anyway, after about 4 miles or so we got to somewhere with civilisation and so continued the trip up to the last of the pesky mountains, Ingleborough. This one’s easy. And because we are so ultra-fit and healthy, we even thought we would decide to add on an extra 2 miles onto our venture by stupidly following some other people who we assumed were going in the same direction as us, and so having only realised this after about 20 minutes, it meant we had to turn back. That’ll teach us not to read the map!
We got there soon enough though and looking at the climb to the top of Ingleborough on things like the internet, it doesn’t look that bad, but once you get there; 19ish (or in our case, 21) miles in, very weak and literally being unable to put one foot in front of the other, looking up at the steep climb up to the top of the rocks from the bottom is something to genuinely cry about! It looks like one of those crazy Infinite Challenge programmes you see on the tv, but to give comfort, everyone else doing it is taking about 10 steps and then stopping as though they are about to have a medical episode of some sort, apart from the crazy fell-runners who do this thing for a laugh (weird people).
We got to the top, higher than the clouds and I was like “hang on where’s the peak?” Through the mist and cloud I could then see some fluorescent blobs further up in the air, “what on earth were they?” I thought, “is my mind playing games, did someone give me a bit of yee-hah in my water or some space cake in my energy bar?”
Oh no - more flipping rocks to climb, and not just baby ones either, we were not even there yet! One of the chaps I was with was ready to give up at this point as his legs wouldn’t work - I wasn’t going to tell him that mine gave up more than 10 miles earlier, so I just said to him “think of the kids”. I am sure at that point he wanted to push me back down the mountain! But we persevered and made it to the top at about 4.30pm (9 & half hours in).
Challenge achieved, right then, where’s the car park and the barbecue because I certainly can’t smell any food, or see any cars. That’ll be because there’s another 4 & a half mile to descend down to the finishing/starting point on what must be the most uneven pathway in the whole world – it isn’t, but by that time when your human shock absorbers have royally broken down, you feel every little stone as the calves, ankles, knees, thighs and hips all stop working in tandem like they are supposed to do and so you end up walking like a drunk in 10-inch high heels.
Half way down, and the sun had the audacity to come out. Soaking wet clothing trying to dry itself on you, with a rucksack which feels 20 times heavier than what it was at the beginning due to everything being drenched, the 4 & a half mile journey seemed to take forever, it was like following the bisto gravy trail. It took just over 2 hours for us to get to the finish point which is slow going on a mile by mile rate, but it was a journey which got us to the end of the journey and it felt great to see the rest of the guys who had finished the challenge a bit quicker than us, and our families who had come up to celebrate with us.
All in all, on reflection, the Yorkshire 3 peaks is a brilliant challenge and I would highly recommend anyone to do it if you haven’t already done so. I’m certainly not the fittest person in the world, and they say the target time for completion is 12 hours so I am proud to have done it in less than that (11h 22mins according to the certificate of achievement – of course if we take the 2 miles off for the detour which we took it would have been in the 10 hour + region!).
There was, of course, a reason we did this, and that was to raise money for One In A Million. Between the group of us, we set a target to achieve £2,500 for the charity, and as it stands, with some further donations still to hit the account, the figure is at a staggering £4,055!! (62% above target). This is an unbelievable amount and we thank each and every one of you who has sponsored us and donated.
Today, 2 days later, the body is feeling like it’s done 10 rounds with a kickboxing champion but with my hands tied behind my back, however every time I try to stand up or go up the stairs or try to put shoes on etc., well, I just do what Wayne said, I just think of the kids!
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