Three Peaks Training Diary #2

The Reader Organisation’s major fundraising campaign for 2012 is The Reader Apprenticeship Programme, giving opportunities for life to care-leavers. To kick-start the fundraising, an intrepid team of staff and volunteers are taking on the mammoth Three Peaks Challenge, scaling the three biggest mountains in the UK in just 24 hours.

The Three Peaks Training Diary has been following the team’s progress and our next entry comes from Colin MacGregor, TRO volunteer and Managing Director of Alexander MacGregor, who are kindly sponsoring the minibus for the trip.

The Three Peaks Team has just seven weekends left to cram in some serious exercise before the challenge commences on June 30th. Ten days ago, as part of Sam’s carefully programmed training regime, the team conquered Snowdon –albeit at a leisurely pace. All agreed it was a doddle but next time we attempt the climb, on Sunday 1st July at about 1pm, it will be the third and final peak of the 24 hour challenge – and the clock will be ticking relentlessly towards the deadline. It’s just possible that tired legs might be a little less willing (or able) to carry us swiftly up and down the highest peak in Wales.

And so, as the ‘oldie’ on the team and determined to succeed in the mission, a bit of extra-curricular training seems like a good idea. I’ve made the odd foray into the Welsh hills over the past couple of months – in snow, rain and some unseasonably warm March sun. Last Sunday I returned to one of my favourite walks at Llantisilio Mountain, a few miles west of Llangollen. Unlike Snowdon though, I met just one other walker all morning! At just short of 600metres this is not a big climb, but the ridge walk is really rewarding with some beautiful views of the River Dee, The Clwydian range and (on a clear day) Snowdon. And believe it or not, with a nod to the forthcoming adventure, the walk includes three peaks. At the end of the morning’s exertion, a pint of foaming ale at The Sun in the village of Rhewl helped stave off any risk of dehydration – perfect.

So will I be ready for the 3 Peaks? I don’t know. My knees worry me. So for the next few weeks training will step up and Housman’s Reveille, from A Shropshire Lad (and yes I am a Shropshire lad!), will continue to get me out of bed – early:

Wake: the silver dusk returning
Up the beach of darkness brims,
And the ship of sunrise burning
Strands upon the eastern rims.

Wake: the vaulted shadow shatters,
Trampled to the floor it spanned,
And the tent of night in tatters
Straws the sky-pavilioned land.

Up, lad, up, ’tis late for lying:
Hear the drums of morning play;
Hark, the empty highways crying
‘Who’ll beyond the hills away?’

Towns and countries woo together,
Forelands beacon, belfries call;
Never lad that trod on leather
Lived to feast his heart with all.

Up, lad: thews that lie and cumber
Sunlit pallets never thrive;
Morns abed and daylight slumber
Were not meant for man alive.

Clay lies still, but blood’s a rover;
Breath’s a ware that will not keep.
Up, lad: when the journey’s over
There’ll be time enough to sleep.

Like everyone else on the team, I’m conscious that this is not just about the personal challenge of completing a gruelling 24 hours but more importantly about raising some serious money for The Reader Apprenticeship Programme. So for all our blog readers out there who haven’t yet sponsored the event – please support us now with a donation at http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/trothreepeaks.

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