Against all odds!

When my colleagues Peter, Martha and Marta , along with a small group of family and friends, including Peter’s daughter Emma and Marta’s boyfriend Tiago, announced their intention to tackle the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge I have to admit I was a little bit sceptical that they could do it!

It is a tough 24 mile trek that involves scaling Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Inglebrough, all in less than 12 hours.  And it includes 5200 feet (just under a mile) of ascent!

I had no doubt that Marta would make it - she is young and goes to the gym six times a week – but I had serious doubts about Peter and Martha.

Although Peter has been a sportsman all his life, he is now in his early sixties and his main exercise is 18 holes of golf once a week. Reading this, Peter will undoubtedly protest that I haven’t mentioned his history of cycling to work. Peter did cycle to work a few times several years ago but that’s history – there, I’ve mentioned it.

Martha is not very sporty – unless you class bar diving as a sport – but she does employ the services of a personal trainer. However, she’s focused on body toning and cardio vascular exercise is not part of her weekly workout –- she still gets out of breath climbing the stairs to our office!

In all honesty I wasn’t sure they would even get to the start line, never mind the finish line. But Peter allayed those fears by committing some of his hard-earned cash to a new pair of walking boots from Sports Direct.

Early expectations were not boosted, however, when I heard their first training session was a walk along the Leeds Liverpool canal, not exactly noted for its steep gradients! I can only imagine they didn’t want to ‘peak’ too soon.

In fairness, the training regime was gradually stepped up but, inevitably, this led to tired bodies protesting that muscles and joints were being stretched beyond their normal limits. I feared the worst when, with a couple of weeks to go, Peter announced that his knee was giving him trouble and he was heading back to Sports Direct to buy a knee support.

There could be no backing out though. By this time the group had publicly announced their plans to take on the Challenge and raise money on behalf of Cancer Research UK.  Generous supporters, including many Source clients, had already made substantial donations to this worthy cause in anticipation of a successful outcome.

In a late demonstration of his commitment, Peter declared he was abstaining from alcohol for the week before the walk. Martha said she would think about it and she was true to her word – she did think about it.

I will let one of the participants tell the story of the walk itself and reveal the final amount raised. Suffice to say they did it – with minutes to spare! There was lots of laughter and a few tears along the way, and Peter admitted it was one of the toughest things he has ever done.

Well done to all the team! A great achievement. I never doubted you for a second!

Written by Steve Clark, 24/05/2019