Monday, 14 June 2010

Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge seems that I have an addiction, or I'm going through an early-life crisis, or something.

For some reason I had an urgent need to tackle the biggest challenge on my doorstep: the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. 25 miles and 1,600m in under 12 hours. I didn't think for a second that it would be any less than difficult; agonizing, even. Yet I was already awake when my alarm went off at 4:20am on Saturday morning, unable to sleep for the blood rushing excitedly through my body and the nerves of uncertainty for what I was about to put myself through.

It was already light outside as we headed north west to the summit of the first peak; I felt as if we were racing the day, dissappointed to have wasted precious daylight hours to sleep (I wanted to set off at midnight; my Dad later confessed that we should have done). When we arrived at the summit of Pen-y-Ghent the carpark was already filling up, and we set off in quite a hoard of walkers. Everything felt very surreal; I was very aware that I would be walking for the next 12 hours, but I couldn't absorb the scale of it all, and so I didn't try to. I realised during the Keswick Half Marathon that the miles aren't there for counting, only for enjoying or enduring, and that was the attitude I carried on with me on Saturday.

6:47am: Checking in at the Pen-y-Ghent café

The first of three: Pen-y-Ghent

For some reason I had presumed that the blisters I suffered on the Dales Way would never return; as if the feet develop an immunity to such things. In short, I was very wrong. All three of us were hobbling along after only the first (and smallest!) of the three peaks, and all there was to do was march on.

The Ribblehead Viaduct (famous from the Harry Potter films), towards Whernside - the highest point in Yorkshire

A rest and some fuel on top of Yorkshire

Towards the third and best peak: Ingleborough

Smiles, but there's a long way left to go!

Back in the carpark with clean socks and a lemonade :-)

Appropriate celebration pint!

I know why I'm addicted; completing this caused me to feel something I've only felt twice before, a feeling which can't be matched in any other way. A sense of joy, relief, pride, satisfaction and excitement, paired with exhaustion and intense pain. I had to miss work yesterday as I couldn't walk. I had sunburn on my face and hands, windburned lips, backpack sores on my shoulders, blistered feet, a missing toenail and a twisted knee, as well as post-excitement blues and intense hunger/nausea pangs. It's all part of it, it's the adventuring equivalent of a bad hangover, and it needs comforting and feeding in just the same way.

1 comment:

  1. Another amazing personal experience notched up for you. Made all the more personal maybe for sharing with such special people.
    Huge congrats Miss JO!
    Lisa x