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‘Three in 3’ challenge. Ben Holland and Sam Robson

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  Ben Holland and Sam Robson ‘Three in 3’ challenge

September 2012

 

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WE DID IT…… and what a truly epic challenge it was. We managed to complete, 433 miles of cycling and 30 miles of running, climbing 29000ft all in a time of 51 hours 33 minutes. Here’s how;

Starting from sea level in Caernarfon at 6.40pm on Thursday 6th September, 2012 8d169b0159a745cc83ce361a48d02b88feeling excited and psyched for the challenge, we cycled up to the Ranger’s path on Snowdon (3560ft) where we changed into our running gear to ascend the mountain. Reaching the Summit in 1 hour we were setting a good pace, a quick photo and we began the decent down the Pyg track in the dark, arriving at Pen Y Pass, 7.5 miles and 1 Hour later. After a quick bite to eat we set off on the bikes heading North for Rufford, 98 miles03c9e1cc96484361b0365fb7932edcab away, which started off okay, but we both encountered our reoccurring back and neck problems, they soon subsided as the cycling got harder. First experience of cycling in the dark provided very quiet roads and did us a favour in not being able to see the gradient as we had a long climb up out of Ruthin. We blasted through the Birkenhead Tunnel and entered Liverpool at top speed worried we may be left with our bikes on bricks! At 3.30 we arrived at Brick Kiln Farm, 10miles South of Preston, where we were to camp for the night.

 

 

b3f0fcba634e490a9c02fecf130f14bcWaking up at 7am on Friday after a short sleep we ate a good breakfast loaded up with food and at 8am set off heading for Ambleside where we would stop for lunch. A good ride along the A6 saw the miles being eaten up as we got on with it, encountering our worst weather on our bikes as we experienced showers, flicking up alot of grit into our eyes. A de09302c3d79fe44c0914b00c3fe04c23ccent pace meant we arrived 4 hours later completing 69 miles. After a short food stop of which we hardly touched the gourmet meal on offer to us (we found it easier to eat moist bite size bars). We cycled the 7 miles to Langdale where we would begin our run up Scafell Pike (3209ft), where in hindsight we should of had lunch, as two stops wasted a lot of time but we thought we would allow our food to settle before running.

Reaching the summit in 2 hours we were making good progress, but the weather was awful 62a31e7acedf4542848f7241e3fb7414and navigation was to be an issue on the descent, barely being able to see 10 meters ahead. In fact the path was nowhere to be seen so we had to take a bearing and luckily after a good hour we were confident we had the right path. Visibility didn’t get any better from here and with the path unclear we kept straying from it costing us valuable time, noticing at one point when the clag lifted for a matter of seconds we found ourselves in the wrong valley after losing the path. So with tired legs and frustration our heads were starting to go as we realised we had to climb a very steep incline back out of the valley, we cracked on and found the path again at the top, we were back on track. Three frustrating hours and 13.7 miles later we got to Seathwaite, where our support team were awaiting our arrival, time for a good meal and a slightly longer break to regain our composure. 7pm strikes and we are off again on the bikes heading 108 miles north for Crawfordjohn. After following the A7076 for about 40miles, getting excited at the sight of a new sign and quickly disappointed again as we came across signs every kilometre making us aware that there was both two way traffic and a cycle lane! We would be very happy never to see these signs again, reaching the Red Moss truck stop at 3.30am, our destination to camp for the night.

844d10fba41d4cb5b759e02c484fef47Another 7am arousal on Saturday, again a good breakfast and preparation for the final day, we were off on the bikes for 8am feeling surprisingly fresh. We put in a rapid 20 miles then a quick stop to stock up with food supplies before we navigated our way through the traffic lights of Glasgow, leaving the support vehicles well behind us. A fellow friendly cyclist guid6e0385135d354d5db3d2dfaf8e1ec5b7ed us through Paisley to the Erskine Bridge, before we cycled a further 40 miles to our next stop just north of Glasgow. Just after our second stop, came our first and luckily only puncture, a quick fix and we were off again, we had again picked up the pace and had covered 20 miles in under an hour, then came the Scottish Highlands. Our final stop came with just 50 miles to go until Fort William plenty of food down us and supplies on board we were off on the final push. We seemed to be climbing constantly and saddle sore was becoming an issue, we had to get off every half hour to regain circulation.

decf9c7187004922b8a92421bf036330Finally at 6.45pm we Reached Glen Nevis very happy to be getting off the bikes , for the final time we changed into our running gear and began the ascent of Ben Nevis, this was it the final push and we were well pumped for it. The mountain seemed to go on forever as it kept appearing up out of the clag. We kept pushing and reached the summit in 1hour 40 a quick photo and we were off back down, temperatures must have been close to freezing wearing only shorts and a thin cag we were really feeling it so needed to descend fast it was dark by now and the clag was thick but luckily this time the path was easy to follow. It was a rocky descent, but we were making good progress and knew there was not long to go, we completing the 9 mile route in 2 hours 50 minutes a fast time by anyone’s standards. It hit us at the bottom as we realised that we had nearly completed our challenge, as tiredness started to kick in we cycled the 3 miles left back to sea.

Touching the sea at Fort William we had done it, we had completed this epic challenge that came about in the pub and let’s face it, we never thought would really happen! It took a couple of minutes of realisation and as our support team arrived, popping the champagne we were feeling very proud of ourselves but also very relieved it was over.

We owe a huge thank you to our support team of Rick and Jan Robson, Robyn Guntrip and Matthew Holland, for the effort they made to support us on our expedition and a truly great job they did!

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/threein3

Time

Location

Leg Time

18.42

Caernarfon

0

19.08

Ranger Path

0.26

21.15

Arrived Pen y Pass

1.07

21.45

Left Pen y Pass

0.30

23.10

Cerrigydrudion

1.25

02.00

Arrive Birkenhead

2.50

02.15

Left Birkenhead

0.15

03.15

Arrive Rufford

1.00

07.57

Leave Rufford

4.42

11.20

Quick layby food top up

3.23

12.10

Arrive Ambleside

0.50

12.23

Leave Ambleside

0.13

1.30

Set off up Scarfell

1.07

18.15

Arrive Seathwaite

4.45

19.10

Left Seathwaite

0.55

03.00

Arrive Red Moss, Crawfordjohn

7.50

08.00

Left Red Moss, Crawfordjohn

5.00

09.15

Arrive Strathaven

1.15

09.30

Leave Strathaven

0.15

11.15

Erskine Bridge

1.45

12.20

A82 Roadside Stop

1.05

12.40

Puncture

0.20

12.48

Off again

0.08

14.50

Lunch @ Crainlarich

2.02

15.10

Left Crainlarich

0.20

18.40

Arrive Glen Nevis YHA

3.30

19.07

Leave YHA

0.27

22.00

Return to YHA

2.53

22.25

Finish

0.15

51.33

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