Last weekend marked our third annual charity challenge – and of course we made it our most challenging yet!
We didn’t settle for just a cycle or a trek, we decided to put the two together and add on some swimming for good measure.
The “Try-Athlon” began on Friday afternoon with a cycle along the canal towpath from Keighley to Leeds and back. The weather was glorious and our team of cyclists went on their way.
Anthony hit disaster in super-fast time (smashing Rob’s half a mile before a puncture record of two years ago) pulling to a halt after just 20 metres! He made a running repair and that subsequently failed. Anthony then proceeded to ride and stop to pump up his tyre every five minutes until he reached Shipley. A big shout out to Ellis Briggs Cycles as Anthony, having no money on him, fell on their mercy telling them he would have to ring and pay by card when he got home. Hearing it was for charity they did exactly that and set him off on his way. In no time at all he was soon back among the front runners and made the rest of the journey with no further hiccups.
Jacob was surprised to be finding it harder than normal only to discover he had rode from Keighley to Saltaire with his front break stuck on!
The only other puncture occurred at Kirkstall as Frank picked up a flat. Ever the seasoned cyclist he was soon on his way to join the Peloton, albeit at the back…
Saturday morning, bright and early, the walking team assembled and headed for Whernside, Yorkshire’s tallest peak. Some of the team who had completed the cycle the day before were feeling a little worse for wear, but being joined by even more participants the spirits were kept high!
Setting off together, the competitive nature of a couple of our engineers began to show as James and Paul shot off ahead in a race to the top!
The more sensible members of the team enjoyed their walk, taking in the beautiful views and viaduct. As we reached the peak, the weather did turn a little, with a low fog bringing some rain and hail. Personally, after climbing over 1000 metres a cool down from the rain was just what I needed! Thankfully the fog lifted as we all met up again at the top and had a well-deserved lunch break with a view.
The walk down took more concentration than expected, and yet again the team got a little lost on their return to the support vehicle. Not to worry! Our support on the ground kept us informed and entertained throughout the 8 miles with the help of portable two way radios, getting us all back safely.
With two days of events complete, there was still the small task of a 21 mile swim to conquer! With 1344 lengths of Shipley pool to swim between the team, it was a number that I honestly thought was out of our reach. With 4 hours of swimming time and a constant stream of swimmers coming and going through the day we were soon clocking up the lengths! Our length counters kept a tally and regularly called out the milestones, spurring the swimmers to do as many as they could. By 3pm on Sunday we had successfully racked up enough lengths to equal the distance of the English Channel!
With participants from across all departments of the company, it was a great achievement by all! It was great to see so many people taking part as the weekend had something for everyone. Those who completed all 3 events were looking a little wobbly by the end, but everyone enjoyed themselves and encouraged each other to keep going when they were starting to feel defeated.
So far we have raised over £1,600 with our online donations page and are still counting the offline donations. These funds will be shared between Manorlands Sue Ryder Hospice and Alzheimer’s Society.
Thank you to everyone who donated, took part and helped to support the event. This challenge combined our previous 2 years’ challenges as well as adding a third element, so I can only imagine what kind of crazy challenge will be dreamt up for next year!