This weekend saw four-time World Ironman Triathlon Champion and 220 columnist Chrissie Wellington and three teammates proving successful in their bid to scale the three highest peaks in the U.K: Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis and cycling between the points: a total of 29 miles of mountain running and 420 miles of road cycling.
The 4321 Challenge – 4 people, 3 peaks, 2 wheels and 1 challenge – started at the foot of Snowdon at 9am on Friday and finished at the foot of Ben Nevis at 8.47am today, in a phenomenal 47hrs47mins.
The team ran eight miles up Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, climbing nearly 2,789 feet, before meeting their support crew at the bottom and hopping on their bikes for 168 miles of riding and 8,104 feet of climbing. The second peak was Scafell Pike, a run of almost 11 miles and with 3,478 feet of climbing. They then cycled to the foot of Ben Nevis, a massive 253-mile trip with 13,615 feet of climbing. They arrived there at 2am, ready for the final stretch: the 10 miles up and down the highest mountain in Britain, with a strenuous 4,593 feet of climbing. The feat of endurance was done on just over one hour of sleep over the whole two-day period.
EXITING THE COMFORT ZONE
An exhausted but exhilarated Chrissie Wellington described the Challenge as, “the hardest thing I’ve ever undertaken and accomplished.” Chrissie added, “I took on the challenge because I really didn’t know if it would be possible for me to finish it. I wanted to take myself out of my comfort zone, step into the unknown and push myself to the limit, raise money for charity and do all of that as part of a team. This amazing challenge was absolutely epic in every sense of the word!”
Despite the success, it wasn’t always plain sailing and the team admit to going through some testing times, both physically and psychologically. Team member Matt Edwards, said “The charities that we are supporting that really enabled us to push through when the going got really tough.”
The team is raising money for jole rider, an organisation that provides bicycles to children in Africa so they can get to school, and the Rainbow Trust, a London-based charity that offers support to families with terminally ill children.
For more details, or to donate to the Challenge, see the website www.4321challenge.org