Friday 10th November 2023
We're half way there!
Thanks to everyone's support and some almost superhuman efforts over the weekend of August 11-13th, we beat the 5 Peaks Challenge!
At 10.45am on Friday August 11th, 16 of our colleagues left Mallow, bound for Carrauntoohil in Co. Kerry, the first of 5 mountains they would be climbing in their attempt to beat the 5 Peak Challenge in just 48 hours.
As we left Mallow, the weather changed from sunshine to heavy showers and with the event trackers activated at 1.30, the challenge officially began when the team headed off to face their first mountain - the impact of the changeable weather conditions took many by surprise and few were prepared for the harsh reality of the Devils Ladder!
After a swift change from sopping wet clothes, it was off to Slieve Donard, which would be climbed in the dark, with the experienced DPS team leading the way, the heavens opened on the climbers at 3am and once again, they returned to the bus soaked to the skin, with tiredness starting to set in.
Saturday morning saw the team crossing the Irish Sea by ferry, having a huge breakfast, well deserved hot showers and, in some cases, a nap ahead of their next climb up Snowdon. Luckily, the weather conditions were perfect for this one and getting back to the bus dry for a change really lifted everyone's spirits!
Just as well, because we only had 3.5hrs until the next nighttime climb up Scafell Pike. We had to leave the big bus and decamp off into 3 mini buses to travel an hour up winding and twisting country lanes to get to Scafell which we knew would be daunting as there had been very little recovery time.
Then came the drive to the big one - Ben Nevis - and the decision was made to split the remaining climbers into two teams, one where the energy reserves were high, the focus was laser visioned and the determination was strong to smash the challenge and the other consisted of those who knew they were struggling but wanted to see how far they would make it without the pressure of the ticking clock against them!
The aim was to be back at our bus by 1.30pm so a climb time of 4hrs 45mins was set.
DPS' Peter Johnston absolutely smashed it, back with almost 2 hours to spare, hot on his heels came Pedrollo Distribution's Tadhg Buckley with EPS' Paul McCafferty and next back were the trio of Ferrier Pumps' David McIntosh and Todd Grace (who completed it with his laces open!!) and DPS' Curtis Skipp.
Massive honourable mentions to EPS' Paul Kenny and Tony Doyle, DPS' Chris Wallace, IPP's Liam Walsh who completed all 5 peaks but just outside the 48 hour window.
Our late colleague Jason Hickey was also due to be taking part and Tony and Paul brought his set of screwdrivers which had his initials etched on them and left one at the top of each peak in his memory.
Next in November, Curtis Skipp and Kevin Davey will head to South America to face the 7-day 58km Machu Picchu Inca Trail in Peru, To celebrate the Action Cancer 50th Anniversary bringing a year long fundraising effort by our Group to a hopefully very successful and safe end.
We would be sincerely grateful for any and all support that our Group colleagues, friends and family can send our way for this massive year of fundraising, training and taking on the challenge itself!
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