Congratulations to Chrissie O'Callaghan and Mark Leedale who took on and conquered two monumental challenges to raise money for charity.
Both had very different journeys to complete their goals as Chrissie took on the Three Peak Challenge to reach the summits of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon for the charity MIND and Mark took on a feet of amazing endurance to cycle from Newcastle upon Tyne to London, a trip of 315 miles for the On-Course Foundation. Amazingly both challenges were completed in the same time of 29 hours.
Chrissie said about her experience:
"Our first mountain was Ben Nevis and we started our route at 7.30am. Ben Nevis out of the three mountains was my favourite as the path was simple to follow and the views were incredible. One of the members of the team injured herself on the climb and we lost 5 hours getting her down safely from the summit of Ben Nevis. Due to the delay we started the climb of Scafell Pike in the dark. I was glad to get this one finished and took a stone from the summit as a memento.
Finally we started Snowdon the following morning, this for me was the toughest climb as I was exhausted and sleep deprived, we reached the final summit at 12.24pm. Although we had aimed to complete the challenge in 24 hours we manage to achieve a time of just under 29 hours which we all thought was still a huge accomplishment.
I have never experienced anything like this before and after relaxing with some celebratory champagne it finally started to sink in what we had done. Not only was it an amazing experience but I raised over £1000 for the charity MIND which is a charity close to my heart. Thank you to all the members for your donations".
Mark was one of 750 cyclists that set out on this epic journey from Newcastle to London. Nearly 500 people dropped out along the way as they battled against high winds and driving rain but Mark was one of the 256 cyclists that managed to make it to their destination.
Mark said of his experience
"My abiding memories of the 315 mile ride from Newcastle upon Tyne are as follows:
1. The extremely high SW wind and driving rain especially through Northallerton– it’s no wonder the Yorkshire folk are miserable.
2. Riding with a Geordie for about 25 miles and not really understanding a word he said. He probably felt the same.
3. Meeting with two solicitors just outside Newcastle and riding every mile of the way with them. You simply cannot do it on your own and we had a shared ambition to finish. They raised lots of funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
4. To pass the time we had sports trivia questions and answers from Lincoln onwards. “Who was the infamous number 10 for Scunthorpe United?” – Ian Botham, great cricketer, fat footballer. When this ran out we successfully named both the Leeds and Chelsea teams in the 1970 cup final apart from the goalkeeper. In fact we thought it was David Harvey who replaced Gary Sprake for the replay so we were kind of right.
5. Finally and above all the sheer pain starting in my left foot and running to the lower back, all of the legs and shoulders. That was so acute with about 60 miles to go that I cannot even begin to explain my thoughts. In the end at Smithfield's Market I simply could not bend over to collect my day bag which was on the floor. What kept me going was that the wounded lads probably endure that sort of agony for much of their lives and we at Puttenham Golf Club have at least done some fundraising to help them."
Mark raised in excess of £2000 for the On-Course Foundation.