Oliver Proudlock swaps Chelsea for Peru…

Fashion designer and Made In Chelsea star, Oliver Proudlock, is currently in Peru and about to trek to Machu Picchu in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

Oliver Proudlock, and his girlfriend, model Emma Louise-Connolly, will trek at altitude for five days, following the ancient paths of the Incas, climbing beautiful mountains and experiencing the remote villages and breathtaking scenery before reaching the world-famous Machu Picchu.

Oliver Proudlock & Emma Louise Connolly

Oliver will be joining the fight for every heartbeat once again in honour of his family, who have been plagued by cardiovascular disease. His grandmother died from a ruptured aorta, his uncle has had heart bypass surgery, and his dad was diagnosed with a weak heart muscle in 2006.

Oliver said: “I am incredibly excited about the BHF’s Machu Picchu trek – I’ve never been to this part of the world and Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful sights. And knowing that for every mile we walk, we’ll be helping fund the BHF’s life saving research, is an absolute privilege.

“The BHF is such an important cause to me as there is a long history of cardiovascular disease in my family. My dad and uncle are just two out of seven million people living with these conditions in the UK today, which is why the BHF’s research is so important. I would urge anyone to sign up to support the BHF by taking on this incredible trek or one of the BHF’s other overseas challenges.”

Oliver and the BHF trekking team in Peru

Krystyna Grant, Events Lead at the BHF, added: “We are delighted that Oliver and Emma have chosen to become Heart Trekkers and take on the trip of a lifetime in aid of the BHF. They will be helping us to make real strides in our research.”

Oliver and Emma are hoping to raise an incredible £4,000 for our life saving research. To donate, visit their JustGiving page.

Icelandic Lava Trek by Tweets

Last month, more than fifty ‘Fabulous Challengers’ headed to Iceland to take part in the Icelandic Lava Trek for CoppaFeel! Kate Lewers was one of the participants on this amazing challenge, and she has tweeted her journey.

The traditional group photo before the flight

That’s some sky, and the weather is looking good!

A first glimpse of the incredible Icelandic landscape, which is diverse throughout the trek

Maybe we should get all participants to wear these… it’d make you easier to spot!

A sparkly trekker is a happy trekker!

There are a few river crossings along the trek

We have to agree!

A sense of humour is definitely key on a charity challenge!

Looks a lot easier than a river crossing!

Nearly there!

Well done Kate! And everyone else who took part on the CoppaFeel! Icelandic Lava Trek 2016.

A well deserved dip we think!

Feeling inspired? You could tackle the Icelandic Lava Trek yourself! Click here to take a look at our website for more details.

Fabulous Icelandic Lava Trek for CoppaFeel!

Charity Challenge teamed up with Fabulous and CoppaFeel! for the Icelandic Lava Trek in August 2016. More than 50 brave participants took to the volcanic landscape of Iceland to trek nearly 60km through the ever changing scenery. With lush green hills, snow-capped peaks, steaming lava fields and ice-cold river crossings, it really was a diverse and challenging trek.

Fancy taking part yourself? Take a look at upcoming dates for our Icelandic Lava Trek, or perhaps our brand new Iceland Glacier Trek!

Your Story: Jon Williams on the Mind Hike 2016

Back in July we worked with Mind to organise the Mind Hike 2016 – Offa’s Dyke Challenge. Here is participant Jon William’s account of the 24 hour challenge on the English/Welsh border!

A month after the event, and the memories of Mind Hike 2016 are still with me and bringing a smile to my face. During the course of the hike I met some absolutely fantastic people and despite heading into the hike with some hesitancy, I can honestly say I had a great time. Most importantly of all though, we all did a great job of raising money and awareness for such a key cause. I signed up to the Mind Hike 2016 in the December of 2015, after coming across the advert via the Mind Facebook page. I had previously completed RideLondon for Mind and was looking for something a bit different. It was with rose-tinted memories of Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and the fun of trekking that I decided a 24-hour trek sounded like just the ticket and so had no hesitation in signing up.

Offa's Dyke Mind Hike

The hike came with the added bonus that is was an event exclusively for and organised by Mind. I have long supported Mind and try to get as involved as I can. For me this is a very personal cause as I myself am in a long battle with depression and its ally, anxiety. In the course of my first degree these two took me to some very dark places and the work and support of Mind and other similar organisations meant that no matter how bad it got, I was never alone in the darkness. This is why I think the work of Mind is so, so key to progress in mental health. Until we can say that truly no one has to face a mental health issue alone we need organisations like Mind in our corner reminding us that no matter how bad it gets, it can always get better.

So I committed to the hike in December and very quickly received all sorts of fundraising tips and materials from the fantastic team at Mind. I’m sure if you ask anyone from our hike they can all tell you about how amazing Emily and Alexa (our Mind Hike 2016 event team) were, with so many supportive emails and updates (and even care packages!) coming our way in the months before the hike. There was always a friendly face at the other end of any emails or calls in the build up to the event and I really can’t speak highly enough of those two.

Offa's Dyke Mind Hike

As the hike came grew near we were given two teams, to walk from opposite ends of an 80-mile stretch of Offa’s Dyke on the English-Welsh border to meet in the middle after 24-hours of walking, Team Lion and Team Dragon. I was part of team dragon who were to walk from the North downwards, taking in a slightly hillier route. We all began to introduce ourselves via a Facebook group set up by Emily and Alexa and already there was so much support and community between us all. Helpful tips were shared, and supportive messages were sent to trekkers when they found things a bit tougher going.

Before I knew it, the weekend of the hike was upon me. Suddenly the reality of it was upon me. I was going to have to walk 40-miles in 24-hours with a group of 20 people I had never met (there had been a training day organised by Emily and Alexa, but I unfortunately hadn’t been able to attend). On the train journey there I was admittedly nervous, but part way on the journey I met Emily and Alexa and Maria (another Mind team member) and they were so lovely and welcoming and we got chatting and before I knew it the journey was over; nerves were a distant memory.

We met on the Friday at the hotel we’d have for two nights (with only one of them being spent actually in the bed) and got a chance to meet all of our teams. I have to say my nerves were completely unjustified. Everyone was so lovely and even the hotel staff were getting into the atmosphere of camaraderie. Some of us even grabbed a beer or two as we watched the Wales-Belgium quarter final of the Euros. There was an air of excitement and we couldn’t wait to get started.

Unfortunately, that didn’t quite translate to as much enthusiasm with the 6am alarm clocks the next morning. Breakfast was lovely and once we got coffee and food into our systems people started to perk up. The two teams assembled for a quick photo before parting ways and heading to our starts points for our 8am set-offs. The journey over was a chance to do some more meeting of team members and the mood just got better and better.

Start of the hike

As for the hike itself, it wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be. It’s fair to say that with a 24-hour hike there are many parts that are exactly as you might expect. There’s the highs of the amazing views and summits conquered, and the lows of being caught in a torrential downpour and the realisation at about midnight that this is far from over. But the thing that really comes out of it all is the feeling of being a team. Through all of the swings of the hike, there was a real feeling of being in it together and there would always be someone that would help out when emotions were running high. I can honestly say that I met some lovely people and that’s what will stick with me for many years to come. It sounds like a cliché, but the conversations you have at 3am on a Welsh hillside really do bring people together. I think our team left knowing more about each other than many of our friends. Unfortunately owing to an early sudden downpour, our team ended up having to split into two smaller groups for safety. However, through some cunning route alteration by the mountain leaders we were able to merge up again on the walk into the finish and so we reached the line in the same manner as we completed the hike, as one.

Happy hikers

For me, the hike was a brilliant experience, my personal highlight being the amazing views we got when crossing a welsh valley by walking across an aqueduct! To anyone thinking about signing up for Mind Hike 2017 I would say absolutely go for it. It’s an amazing experience and you will get to meet some amazing people whilst making a real difference to a crucial cause. I wouldn’t worry too much about it sounding daunting. The Mind team are so supportive, and unlike a marathon this event is more about determination and teamwork than it is about competition and being fit. A bit of practice for longer walks should be enough and the way we approached the walk was about making sure as many people as possible could enjoy the walk as much as possible. This was really helped by the girls at Mind (who even did part of the hike with us, or in Emily’s case the whole thing) who did everything they could to support us, and the mountain leaders who were an endless source of stories, smiles and most importantly food (they even had a doctor on hand to deal with any blister emergencies). All in all, it was a fantastic experience and a great way to raise money for such a crucial cause.

Offa's Dyke Mind Hike Group

Inspired? You can sign up to the Mind Hike 2017, a 24 hour trekking challenge through he beautiful Lake District! See our website to find out more.

10 Reasons to Trek to Machu Picchu for the BHF!

British Heart Foundation is inviting you to join them on their adventurous challenge to Trek to Machu Picchu.

We’ve put together 10 nuggets of inspiration that might just persuade you to sign up, get your boots on and grab those trekking poles, and raise money in the fight against heart disease:

 

1. It will be one of the most memorable things you do this year… in fact perhaps in your lifetime!

2. Meeting new people who also have a close connection to the British Heart Foundation, some of which will stay friends for life.

3. Seeing Machu Picchu for the first time is a magical experience.

4. You’ll visit remote Peruvian villages you can only access by foot.

5. Waking up among the breathtaking beauty of the Andes is exceptional!

6. To have a goal to get fit and active, this challenge is no walk in the park.

7. You’ll learn the fascinating history of the Inca Empire.

8. You’ll push your boundaries and test your comfort zone – making the entire expedition an empowering experience.

9. Seeing the amusing llamas and colourful ponchos along the remote Lares trail.

10. And of course, to save lives by raising money for The British Heart Foundation’s life saving research.

British Heart Foundation Machu Picchu

To find out more about our amazing Trek to Machu Picchu, visit our website and you could be admiring these incredible Incan ruins too!

 

8 things I learned on the Iceland Lava Trek

Last month, our Charity & Corporate Account Manager, Erika Dallimore, took part in our Iceland Lava Trek. We caught up with her to find out what her main highlights were, and to discover what she learned from the trip. Erika says…

I recently took part in the Iceland Lava Trek with 43 other keen trekkers, and during my time on the challenge I learned a lot about the country and its landscape. Whilst trekking over 58km, I found out some interesting facts about the regions’ volcanoes (and discovered I had some surprisingly determined traits when necessary)!

1)    Take an eye-mask with you.
There’s no chance of seeing the Northern Lights on this trek. It’s only dark for approximately 1-2 hours at night during the summer months. You might also appreciate some earplugs if you have any noisy/snoring tent buddies!

2)    Iceland has over 200 volcanoes.
On the trek, you get to see several volcanoes, including Hekla that last erupted in 2000, and Eyjafjallajökull that erupted in 2010 (and caused lots of flight disruptions due to the ash clouds it created). Some say that pronouncing the names of Iceland’s volcanoes is possibly as challenging as the trek itself.

Volanco: Eyjafjallajökull - last erupted in 2010

Volcano: Eyjafjallajökull – last erupted in 2010


3)    You won’t see much wildlife on the Lava trek.

Contrary to popular belief, there are no polar bears in Iceland! There are some reindeer in the east of Iceland, but they were imported in the 19th century. The only animal that is indigenous to Iceland is the Arctic Fox.

4)    Iceland’s flag represents its three main elements
The red represents its active volcanic landscape, the white represents the glaciers and snow and the blue represents its vast ocean and coastline. You’ll spot Icelandic flags at most campsites (or why not take your own for some photo opportunities).

Team photo!

Team photo!

5)    Fermented shark is a local delicacy.
Yep. Left out to dry for over four to five months, it has a very ammonia-rich smell and distinctly fishy taste. What is possibly most surprising of all is not that fermented shark is a local delicacy, but more that Icelanders CHOOSE to eat it when they could eat lots of other, tastier cuisine…

6)    Iceland is a country of Fire and Ice.
It’s truly fascinating to see the contrasting forces of fire and ice coexisting side by side. One minute you’re trekking alongside a geothermal hot spring, and the next minute you’re walking over snow (and lots of it)! Over 10% of the country is covered with glaciers and almost a third of the island is volcanic lava fields. And for the Game of Thrones fans amongst you, you will understand why they choose to film much of the show in Iceland’s beautiful wilderness. The snow-capped horizons feel eternal at times, and the lava ash makes you feel like you’re walking in a different world.

Day 1: the geothermal steam is only metres away

Day 1: the geothermal steam is only metres away

7)    You’ll start to realise that you’ve got more determination and strength of mind than you thought possible.
Sometimes the trek will challenge you and test your limits. The weather could be ferocious (or as the Icelanders call it, ‘changeable’!), the steep inclines up rocky climbs could take their toll on your legs, the river crossings may challenge you and you might be completely outside of your comfort zone as you move from one campsite to the next. But you dig deep, you find the strength, and you do it! And the sense of triumph and achievement that you’ll feel at the end is truly indescribable.

8)    The Blue Lagoon is the perfect way to end the trip!
Soak your aching muscles, enjoy a natural clay face mask and celebrate with a drink from the swim-up bar… the Blue Lagoon is the perfect place to mark your huge accomplishment!

Celebrations at the Blue Lagoon

Celebrations at the Blue Lagoon

 

My time on the Iceland Lava Trek was truly unforgettable, and I’m so proud to have accomplished such a spectacular trek with such amazing people. I’ve made friends for life, and learned so much about Iceland, its stunning landscapes and fantastic people.

Take me back to the mountains!

Take me back to the mountains!

 

If you’d like to follow in Erika’s footsteps, you can sign up to the Iceland Lava Trek from £295. For more information about departure dates, itineraries and FAQs, visit our website.

Why I’m cycling 362 miles for Barnardo’s

Holyhead to Barnardo’s Village Bike Ride

Martin Duffy will be taking part in The Big Barnardo’s Holyhead to Barnardo’s Village Bike Ride this October and raising over £2,150. He tells us a bit more about why he chose this challenge.

You’ve pledged to take part in the Big Barnardo’s Bike Ride for their 150th anniversary. Tell us more!

Ok, well after a bit of stalling, I’ve picked a fundraising challenge – and now I know there is no backing out! I will be cycling 362 miles from Holyhead to Barkingside this autumn, following the route that Thomas Barnardo took when he arrived in the UK in 1866.

Why have you chosen to raise money for Barnardo’s?

As Head of Fulfilment Operations at Barnardo’s, I have seen first-hand the difference that our services can make to children across the UK. Barnardo’s has been transforming children’s lives for 150 years, and I’m determined to ensure that continues. Last year alone, Barnardo’s worked with 240,000 children, young people and families including offering counselling, fostering and adoption services, and disability support. I feel very privileged to be able to take part in this unique challenge event.

What are you most looking forward to about the challenge?

Seeing the finish line at this stage of my training! I think that it is also the opportunity to take part in an event with like-minded individuals.

If you would like to sponsor Martin you can do so on his Justgiving page.

Feeling inspired yourself? Join Martin on what will be an historic bike ride – find out more.

The Legend of Lombok

Operations Manager Phili Newell headed to Indonesia earlier this month to tackle Mount Rinjani, on our Lombok Lava Trek. Here is her account of the 10-day adventure.

As I touch down in Lombok Praya International airport; I am unsure what to expect of this challenge but as I breeze through immigration and see the smiling face of our local leader Brice, all feelings of apprehension are alleviated; and even more so as within the hour I find myself beachside for a delicious local fish dish in the small town of Sengiggi.

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I am pioneering and on recce trip of one of our newest challenges, the summit of Mount Rinjani.  We journey along the coastline and at some point I wake up from my jet lagged slumber to find we’ve turned inland and towards the mountain. Finally we reach our destination and I see for the first time the top of the “hill” peeking out through the clouds. Dusk falls, clouds part and the sun sets bathing the formidable Mount Rinjani in a mystical light and I realise that my initial assessment of this “hill climb” could be wrong. Rinjani stands at an impressive height of 3,726m the tallest volcano on Lombok and as I will find out one of the toughest to summit.

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Next on the agenda is to meet with our local Sasak guides and porters, the team that will be our support for the whole trek. They are friendly from the offset, their knowledge, passion and physical abilities on and about the mountain are second to none; and the chef makes a bloody good chicken curry. After briefs from Brice and the local guide to the rest of the support team and learning about the legend of Princess Anjani (Putri Anjani), after which the mountain is named; I am glad to roll into my bed.

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A day of exploration and planning lies ahead. Brice and I meet with Sar and he shows us the sights of Sembulan, a traditional village surrounded with fertile agricultural lands that sit in the foot hills of the now green lava fields. We visit the volcanologist’s centre to reassure ourselves this thing isn’t going to blow any time soon – it’s not by the way, only the small one inside might, it’s in the risk assessment.

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The group have arrived and it’s only taken us a few hours and decent meal to know that we are going to be a tight team and this challenge is going to epic.

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Briefs done, kit checked, bags packed, sun screen applied, water dispensed and that’s us ready to hit the “hill”. An early start is in order to beat the midday sun on the savannah in the foot hills of the Mount Rinjani. The undulating terrain is pleasant and the views spectacular, but the heat and humidity is stifling. I can see the glistening brilliant blue of the Bali Sea, the Lombok and the Alas Straits and across the way the silhouette of Gunung Agung in Bali. It’s these views that keep my mind off the task at hand, I also stop to take a lot of photos/catch my breath.

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Luckily after lunch and for the steepest climb of the day (actually it’s been up hill all the way) the clouds have rolled in providing us with some much needed coolness. Finally the rim is in sight and we arrive into camp as the sun sets over the crater lake.  A slap up meal and early to bed for all of us, we’ll need all our strength for the summit.

We’ve all read the trip advisor reviews and reckoned that the people who wrote the review must have been a bit wet – I mean really how hard can this summit be?!

01:30am, it sounds like a gale is blowing outside and I’m pretty cosy in my sleeping bag, I don’t really want to move but I tentatively poke my head out of the tent door to be greeted by Eric (one of our chefs) holding out a cup of coffee and the best jam sandwich I’ve tasted in a while. I imagine the rest of the team are going through a similar thought process as I’ve just been through, but when we set off morale is high.  It’s time to tackle this summit. The first section isn’t actually as bad as I thought it would be, it is dark and cold but I seem to have covered some ground. 2 hours into the climb, I’m thanking our amazing porter team for the light breakfast they provided before we started.

3 hours later, 1 step forwards, 3 slides back. I’m talking to myself, cursing ever so slightly under my breath. Walking up this ash and loose rock is beginning to feel like a reoccurring nightmare, and I have no idea if I’ve made any progress. I’ve lost all sense of time, but it is still dark and it is still cold. This is a mental game to reach the top and sure enough before you know it, I’m there, gratefully high fiving some of the more speedy of our team. We’ve made it for sunrise and as we marvel at the scenery all around, tea and biscuits appear. I love these guides!

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The way down from the summit is easier for the most part and once again we are greeted by our support team for a second and bigger breakfast. Around about 10:00am it’s onwards and downwards to our camp by the lake, Segara Anak. Although its downhill, it’s pretty steep and our legs are feeling the burn so we are all looking forward to a much needed soak in the hot springs.

That evening we sit around the campfire and reflect on the day’s achievement, yep made it to the summit of a volcano, trekked for another 9 hours, bathed in a natural hot spring, eaten delicious meals; seen several shooting stars and the milky way – does life get better than this?

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The next couple of days see us venturing into nature’s “spa resorts”. The natural hot springs have carved out caves which become steam rooms; caves that have magical healing powers that can make your wish come true but only if your return to honour it otherwise be damned forever.  It is our last night under the stars so we have a full team dinner with our guides and porters and do some short speeches to say thank you – as let’s be honest here – none of us were getting through this challenge without them to help us along the way.

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The final day of the trek, the route we take is little known to many groups, so it feels as if we are truly alone in the wilderness and this route is only for us.  The views are stunning, waterfalls, river crossings and ladders largely sum up this section of the trek. Some vertigo inducing heights, but always with a solid team to support you and at your side, there is nothing that we can’t achieve together.

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This has been an amazing trip not only for the vistas and the challenge, but for all the people I met along the way, the inspiring stories from our guides and porters. We all had our own reasons for taking part in this challenge but we all did it together.

Have you been inspired to summit one of Indonesia’s highest peaks? Visit our website and sign up today!

7 exciting European challenges to KICK OFF your summer…

Did you know that there are some beautifully picturesque challenges on our very own doorstep? Whether you want to TACKLE some of the UK’s highest mountains or cycle your way around Europe, Charity Challenge has the perfect expedition for you. Check out these breath-taking challenges, and KICK OFF your summer with your next adventure…


1. COAST TO COAST, UK

September 2016
Reg fee: £95

Be inspired by some of the most dramatic scenery England has to offer on this bike ride from west to east. Departing from the Cumbrian coast, you’ll need all your pedal power to tackle big ascents and descents as this challenging itinerary stretches for 140 miles to the North Sea.

Coast to Coast, UK

Coast to Coast, UK

 

2. BORDEAUX TO BARCELONA, FRANCE/SPAIN
May 2017
Reg fee: £325

The cycle from Bordeaux to Barcelona is a truly classic ride that takes you from southern France, across the Pyrenees and eventually arriving in Spain. Prepare for a superb variety of scenery and sights along the way including vineyards, famous Tour de France cols, gorges and fabulous rock formations.

Cycling the Alps

Cycling the Alps

 

3. LAVA TREK, ICELAND
July 2017
Reg fee: £295

Host to some of Europe’s most incredible wilderness, this Icelandic itinerary takes in thundering waterfalls, steaming lava fields, plunging fjords and spouting geysers. The trip is relatively short, but days are long and the terrain is challenging. Your hard work will be rewarded with an indulgent visit to Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon.

Iceland Lava Trek

Iceland Lava Trek

4. LAKES 8 PEAKS, UK
September 2016
Reg fee: £50

Not one, not two, but eight peaks – and in just one day! This is one of the toughest challenges in the UK, testing your strength, endurance and determination. You will tackle some of England’s most rugged and demanding mountains over a matter of hours, including Scafell Pike.

Scafell Pike, Lake District

Scafell Pike, Lake District

5. TREK TRANSYLVANIA, ROMANIA
August 2017
Reg fee: £195

This unusual experience crosses the Transylvanian Alps, taking in huge mountains, rugged wilderness and small villages. We also visit King’s Rock National Park, home to the Carpathian Large Carnivore Project which shelters wolves, lynx and bears. Meanwhile no trip to Transylvania would be complete without a stop at Dracula’s castle.

Dracula's Castle, Transylvania

Dracula’s Castle, Transylvania

6. DOG SLEDDING, SWEDEN
February 2017
Reg fee: £475

A team of loyal huskies leads the way through the snow-covered forests and mountains of Swedish Lapland, across 200kms of beautiful, frozen landscape. Experience the silence of nature while gliding through this winter wonderland, taking the opportunity to spot elk and reindeer and even see the spectacular Northern Lights.

Dog sledding, Sweden

Dog sledding, Sweden

7. NATIONAL 3 PEAKS, UK
September 2016
Reg fee: £79

Brace yourself for a fast-paced and physically challenging adventure, as you take on the three highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales in 48 hours. Considered one of Britain’s toughest outdoor challenges, the National 3 Peaks Challenge takes in Ben Nevis (1,344m), Scafell Pike (978m) and Snowdon (1,085m).

Mount Snowdon, Wales

Mount Snowdon, Wales

 

Set yourself a GOAL and TACKLE one of these exciting expeditions with Charity Challenge. Sign up before 10th July 2016 and you will also receive 16% off your registration fee! Enter code EURO16 when signing up.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…

This time last year, over 20 ambitious fundraisers trekked the Welsh 3000s for Mind, the mental health charity. Captained by TV Presenter, Matt Johnson, and with actor Nicholas Pinnock (most recently in ITV drama, Marcella), 28-year-old support worker Ceri Parker took on the 24 hour endurance challenge, and shares his story…

Ceri, with fellow trekker, Nicholas Pinnock in Snowdonia

Ceri, with fellow trekker, Nicholas Pinnock in Snowdonia

Why did you sign up to the challenge, Ceri?

I signed up to the challenge in memory of my cousin, who committed suicide in 2014. The anniversary was the week after the challenge, so it felt poignant.

Who did you raise money for?

I raised money for MIND because I wanted to save lives of people who felt there was no future due to their mental health, like my cousin felt.

Had you ever taken part in a challenge event like this before?

I’ve done a few 10k runs, and am generally fit, but nothing as big as the 3000s challenge! It’s definitely the biggest physical challenge I have ever undertaken.

How did you go about training for the event?

I joined a local walking group and did some long walks once a week, and continued to play sports on the weekend. Plus lots of gym sessions to get my legs used to those mountains!

How did you fundraise for the challenge?

I created a page on Facebook and encouraged all of my friends and family to like it. I would post updates about my training, and upcoming fundraising events. I also used it to give facts about mental health in men, and linked to articles in newspapers. I did some face-to-face collections at work, and the local football club – everyone was so generous with their donations.

What was your biggest highlight during the challenge?

I think the biggest highlight had to be finishing the trek after 24 hours, with a group of AMAZING people who all had smiles on their faces! Plus, raising over £70,000 for MIND was also a rather special highlight.

What advice would you give anyone who was thinking of taking on a similar challenge for charity?

The best advice I could give would just be: GO FOR IT! No challenge is too daunting, Charity Challenge were brilliant throughout so you’re in safe hands. And don’t forget to enjoy it – you’ve earned it!

Where is your dream challenge destination, and why?

I would love to do a cycling challenge next. Maybe across Europe or around the UK. Tour De France is an inspiring event where millions of people line the streets and cheer on the cyclists. Maybe taking part in a London to Paris event and finishing along the Champs Elysees would be pretty special…

If you are interested in following in Ceri’s footsteps and would like to take part in a challenge for Mind, there are still places left on their Kilimanjaro Summit Climb (7-18th October 2016). Visit the event page to find out more…