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As some of you may be aware from previous blog posts I decided that I wanted to take part in the 36 hours National 3 peaks challenge with Michelle and a group of other participants through the company Challange Central. The date was set from between 15-18th September.
In the lead up to the trip I was really excited and was looking forward to it. As a runner I am already accustomed to tough challenges but I felt this would be the toughest not only because of the mountain climbing but the travelling along with the lack of sleep. This was a challenge that I had wanted to do for a long time and it was something that I had on my bucket list. I knew it was going to be hard but I was determined to try my best in the challenge and achieve another ambition.
I had previously arranged with Challenge Central that I would be picked up from Glasgow Airport whilst the trip started from Stevenage with 1 other pick up point along the way. I made my way to Glasgow but I still couldn't believe that we were now only a matter of hours away from starting the trek. It didn't seem that long ago that Michelle had asked me if I wanted to do this and signing up to the event.
I got to the Travelodge hotel and had food, got back to the hotel and then the fire alarm goes off. Thank God it is only 9:30pm I thought. First time I had ever experienced a fire alarm in a hotel and it turns out someone had an e cig in the room. Not the most ideal prep when you need to be awake for 3:15am.
I awoke at 3:15am on the Friday morning as I had arranged to meet the rest of the group at the airport at 4:30am and there was cheap transport available from the hotel at 4am. Just as I was leaving the hotel I got a text to say the group will be roughly there for 5am. I was very excited. Today is the day the trek well and truly starts.
I made my way to the cafe in the airport where I sat and got my caffeine fix. Thought I would need that on that day and boy I was proved right. Eventually at 5:15am the group arrived to pick me up and the first person I was looking out for instinctively was Michelle. It was really nice to see her after not seeing her for so many years. I then looked at everyone else and lots of other people were sleeping or very tired.
The only available seat left was next to Paul but got to say i'm so glad I got to sit next to this man for the duration of the trip (minus the light snoring and the horrendously bad country joke puns sorry Paul haha). This guy turned out to be such a supportive guy and helped me though some difficulties on the mountains as did the rest of the group but I think Paul deserves a special mention.
The first leg of my journey had began and it was around a 3 hours drive to Ben Nevis in Fort William. I tired to get some sleep on the coach but that wasn't likely to happen as I can never normally sleep on public transport so I was awake and just trying to take it all the scenic views that were around me. We stopped off at Morrisons to get some refreshments and I bought the 1 thing that I had forgotten at home. A comb. Even though I might be on a mountain, a man still has to look smart haha.
After a short 5 minutes journey we had arrived at Ben Nevis and we were ready to start the trek. Once we got there everyone got off the coach and was ready to start the trek. We were lead to the start by one of our guides called Phil who showed us a map at the bottom and talked about which routes we were going to take. After that our challenge had well and truly got underway. The views from the bottom were truly breath-taking and stunning.
Now the trek had started and I was wondering what I had let myself in for. I enjoyed the first part of climbing up Ben Nevis as it gave me the opportunity to socialise and get to know each of my other team-mates a little bit more and find out a little bit more about them. It was amazing to see that so many different people who come from so many different walks of life can come together at an event like this.
For around the few hours I felt like I was doing it at a really good pace but then my muscles started to ache slightly so I took it a bit slower. One of the things that I really enjoyed about Ben Nevis is the view as we were climbing the mountain. Some of them were stunning and picteresque with lots of natural beauty.
We took a few regular breaks but the team overall were doing really well including Paul who had decided to carry a massive suitcase like bag with him. Proper soldiered it.
I was proper excited whilst walking towards the top. I think partly because it would the first part towards an epic achievement and the other part is because the muscles were aching and I thought they could do with the rest. Below are a few pics from the top of Ben Nevis.
As I was coming down Ben Nevis I felt like I was on a mission to get to the bottom. I used to think that climibing up a mountain would be harder then walking down a mountain. I guess I was proved wrong and it was just as hard because you use have to use your leg muscles, just different parts. Some people tend to think it sometimes takes longer coming down then going up and in some instances that is correct and on Ben Nevis I definitely kept thinking when is this going to end and for us to be at the bottom. It seemed to go on on and on.
Finally after 7 long hours we got to the bottom and there was a restaurant there. A vote was taken earlier and everyone wanted to stop and have some food first before heading back on the road down towards Scarfell Pike. I felt a bit sick so only wanted something light. I ended up having the Avacado soup. When I told my mum and dad they had a shock as I never have anything like that at home.
After food the group were ready for the next trip down to Scarfell Pike.
I think I should leave it here now and discuss Scarfell Pike in Part 2.
Thanks for reading.