Wed, 18 Oct 2017
A GROUP of determined fathers battled bad weather, blisters and aching joints to climb the UK’s three highest peaks in just 24 hours, in an effort to raise much-needed funds for their children’s school.
The friends raised almost £3,500 for Falkland Primary School by trekking up Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon at the end of September.
Fundraising co-organiser Jim Taylor, who celebrated his 40th birthday during the gruelling Three Peak Challenge, said it was the hardest thing they had ever done, but that every energy-sapping step had been worth it.
“It was so, so tough” he said.
“Climbing the peaks was hard, but to be honest, probably the worst part was the sleep deprivation and the driving between.
“Everybody said it was the hardest thing they’ve done.
“But just thinking about how generous people have been – that made us want to get up there and do it.
“One guy gave us £100 anonymously – we’ve got no idea who it was.
“You think of people giving that much and being that generous for the school, so we just thought we have to do it.”
The challenge involves walking more than 24 miles, climbing more than 11,000ft and travelling 460 miles across the country.
Mr Taylor said everyone was eager to get involved in the challenge to raise the funds after hearing of increasing budget pressures affecting schools across the district.
The money will be used by the school to purchase new furniture for Year 3.
The 12-strong group, including two minibus drivers, set out for Ben Nevis on the Friday, but as old sporting injuries resurfaced and aching joints took their toll, the team realised not all of them were going to make it to the top of all three peaks.
So to give those still moving freely the best chance of completing the challenge, it was decided that some would sit out the second peak, Scafell Pike, in the Lake District, to keep the whole team on track.
“It was a shame we couldn’t all make it,” said Mr Taylor, whose son is in Year 3 at the school.
“Some of the lads sat out Scafell because they knew we wouldn’t make it to the top of Snowdon by 5pm.
“There were five of us in the end that got to the top for five o’clock.
“It was such a relief to have done it.”
Headteacher Linda Wood said: “Not only are we impressed by their dedication in achieving this, but we are also very grateful for them using this challenge to raise an incredible £3,475 towards the refurbishment of our Year 3 classes.
“Thank you to these ‘Super Dads’ and everyone else who donated to this cause.
“This sense of community continues to make Falkland a special school.”
Mr Taylor said the group were planning future fundraisers as now, a few weeks on, the memories of the pain and discomfort on the mountain trails have faded, while the buzz of completing the challenge along with the success of the fundraising remain fresh.
“It was definitely worth it,” he said.
“We all just want to do something else now.
“Once we started, the bug hit the other lads. That’s all they are talking about.
“Now, once we have stopped, there’s a void there that we need to fill.”