MORE than 20 miles of walking, 10,000ft of ascent and 460 miles of driving all in 24 hours is the prospect facing a group of police officers from Swindon.
At the end of June, the group will be taking part in the annual Fire Service 24-hour Three Peaks Challenge, competing against teams from emergency services across the country, while raising money for the Fatboy’s Children’s Cancer Charity.
The challenge will see the 10-strong team start in Fort William, Scotland, to climb the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, which stands at 4,400ft.
An overnight drive will take them to Wasdale, in the Lake District, to climb the tallest mountain in England – Scafell Pike – which is the smallest of the three at 3,200ft.
Finally, with blisters and tiredness kicking in, they will make the long drive to Llanberis, North Wales, to climb the final mountain of the challenge, the 3,500ft high Mount Snowdon, all within 24 hours of starting.
Paul Saunders, one of the team members, said: “As a team we have been preparing since October. “We have covered 120 miles in training walks, with frequent trips to the Brecon Beacons to climb Pen Y fan, Cribyn and Corn Du, which have been done in every kind of weather imaginable, most recently in two feet of snow, which presented challenges on its own.
“We know that it is going to be hard work and incredibly tiring, but that is a small price to pay in order to raise money for the Fatboy’s Children’s Cancer Charity.”
Fatboy’s charity was set up in memory of Mike “Fatboy” Lawless. He was a serving police officer in Swindon, but died in 1999 at the age of 31 after a battle with cancer.
He had previously worked as a male nurse, at a variety of hospitals including Guy’s Hospital in London. Since 1999, the charity has raised well in excess of £100,000 and helped hundreds of children and their families.
“The money is primarily used to purchase Christmas presents for children suffering with cancer, leukaemia, or other serious illness. Donations are also made to cancer-related charities, such as Macmillan, and also donations direct to cancer units in hospitals.
The charity hold an annual day of “Lawlessness” which this year raised a further £7,000 to help children with cancer.
Paul Bezant, also part of the team, said: “We have set ourselves a target of £1,000, but would dearly love to raise more than that,” he said.
“The money raised will make a real difference to the lives of children suffering from this terrible disease and that is really what is driving us on to complete this challenge.
“So far we have had a really good response and have raised over £500, which is an excellent start, but we want to keep that momentum going as we approach June.”
You can find out more about Fatboy’s Charity at www.fatboyscharity.co.uk. To sponsor the team visit www.justgiving.com/3-Peaks-Challenge-2013 or text FATB50 £(amount) to 70070.