Last week's training walk didn't happen due to a combination of illness (another team member, not me) and the threat of thunder and lightning in Snowdonia, where we'd planed to walk. The top of a mountain is not a good place to be when lightning strikes. So it was a case of scheduling some extra time in the gym instead. I'm hoping to squeeze one final walk in on Bank Holiday Monday and slip in a few more gym sessions before we travel to the Yorkshire Dales on Friday.
The last time I attempted it in 2011 I managed to complete the route in 11 hours and 8 minutes, so this time around despite being 4 years older and almost certainly none the wiser (I only suggested it as a joke in 2011, never believing anyone would take up the challenge), I'm hoping to beat that time. In our final team training run in the Brecon Beacons a couple of weeks ago we averaged 2.5mph which would see us complete the course in around 9 and 1/2 hours. However as one of only two team members who've done it before, there's five of us in total, I'm under no illusions about how tough this challenge is going to be.
The route has also been changed since last time we did it to avoid the notoriously boggy section after Pen-y-ghent, where the unwary could often find themselves thigh deep in a peat bog, making it longer than before. As always the first goal will be to ensure the team completes the route safely and worry about the time afterwards.
Unlike last year (when we raised £2,000 for Sandwell Women's Aid doing the National Three Peaks) we've not nominated a charity or set up just giving page for people to donate. So if you feel moved by our stupidity to donate to charity, please give something to your favourite charity of choice. If you're stuck for ideas two of the charities I regularly support are War on Want and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
However in the best tradition of British explorers we're not doing it to raise money, seek kudos or glory, were doing it because it's there; to test the limits of our physical and mental endurance; for a rare opportunity in the modern world to pit ourselves against the forces of nature in some small way; and because we're all, ever so slightly, crazy.