On Sunday 2nd July, our 80 strong team set off from our offices at 4:30am to Horton in Ribblesdale, to take on the most gruelling walking challenge the Yorkshire Dales has to offer – The Yorkshire Three Peaks. We met for registration at 6:30am with back packs, walking poles and waterproofs at the ready, to listen to the experienced team from Discover Adventure talk us through what was to come. After a motivational message from Paul Cody (Candlelighters, Events Fundraiser) and a quick bacon buttie, we were off. As we reached the foot of Pen-y-ghent, the nerves set in, would we really be able to complete this mammoth 26 mile challenge? How can we walk for 12 hours or more? The answer was easy…of course we could, all we had to do was remember why we were here. After we had clambered on our hands and knees to the summit, cheered on by the ever enthusiastic volunteers, the adventure was well and truly on.
The next 12 miles, although tiring, were mostly flat and allowed us to take in some of the amazing scenery the National Park has to offer, but we all knew that the worst was still to come. Whernside, the highest of the Yorkshire Three Peaks (now known to many as the mountain that never ends) was a true test and after we reached the summit, I am not sure that all of us were prepared for the challenging terrain on the descent. We didn’t have much time to discuss the trials and tribulations though, as Ingleborough was quickly upon us.
After 8 hours of walking and climbing, we really had to dig deep when we were faced with what looked like the impossible. However it seems everything is possible and with the support of each other we made it to the top. The final five miles back to Horton were really tough and at times it felt like we were never going to make it to the end but as soon as the finish line was in sight, spirits were lifted. We were greeted with the smiling faces of the Candlelighters volunteers, our medals and a cup of Yorkshire tea and were all beaming with pride. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of friends, family and colleagues who have taken the time to visit our just giving page and sponsor our team and the donations are still coming in thick and fast.
As its stands today, we have managed to raise a phenomenal £8500 to add to our annual total for Candlelighters, which we hope will pay for their Christmas party in its entirety. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has taken part, in what some have described as their biggest challenge to date and all those that have donated, the team here and Candlelighters are truly grateful.