FOUR friends will lace up their boots today as they set off to conquer three of the highest mountains in the UK.
The team will join 200 other participants in the Three Peaks Challenge by Rail to scale Ben Nevis, 1,134m, Snowdon, 1,085m, and Scafell Pike, 978m, in just over 36 hours.
“It came about through one of my work friends, she was looking for a charity event to do and a personal challenge,” said Emsworth resident Alan Miles.
“I agreed to join in because it’s not often you get the chance to climb three mountains in three countries back to back.”
The team – Kathryn Welch, James Webb, Trevor Banks and Alan – are all Network Rail employees which he admitted adds ‘another dimension’ as this time it will be them catching the train.
“It will take us between the peaks and there is a departure time so it can leave without you,” he said. “But we’re not thinking about that, we will do it.”
While the distance measures the equivalent of one-third of the way up Mount Everest, Alan’s concern is his luggage.
“It’s not the thought of going up three mountains that worries me, but carrying all that stuff up and down.
“You have to be prepared for the different weathers and take the right gear.”
The momentum to keep going will be helped by ‘team spirit’ and knowing it is for a ‘worthy cause’.
This will be the 12th year the Railway Children charity has hosted the challenge and to date more than £1.5m has been raised to help children at risk across the globe.
Each year, the funds help the charity reach 5,000 new children and provide everything from counselling to clothing and medical supplies to shelter.
To ensure this work can continue, there is a target of £3,500 for each team to raise which has seen Alan and his colleagues host collections, cake sales and World Cup sweepstakes.
“There is still a way to go, and not just in terms of walking. If anyone one wants to support us, that would be great.” To donate, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/ThreePeaksSWR