The Woodbridge Vets football team has completed the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for two charities close to their hearts.
Martin Shave, who is a trustee of children’ s brain tumour charity Tom’s Trust, and two other members of the football team – Jimmy Andrews and Chris Kyle – took on the challenge to raise money for Tom’s Trust and Prostate Cancer UK. The two charities are “close to (their) hearts” and the team raised just under £1,300 for Tom’s Trust.
Martin raised the money in honour of his daughter Camille, who is being helped by a Tom’s Trust clinical psychologist after being diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of two.
The Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing and driving between three of the highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales, all often in the space of 24 hours. The total walking distance is 23 miles and the ascent is a huge 3,046 metres. Martin has attempted the challenge several times before but was never quite able to make it to the end. However, on this occasion, the whole team was successful, completing the challenge in 25 and ½ hours.
Martin said: “The team was created from members of the Woodbridge Football Club Veterans team; a group of people who are all over 35, with the majority over 40 years-old.
“We managed to get up to the top of Ben Nevis in just under three hours. We were extremely lucky that the deep cloud cover on top of Ben Nevis had eased and we were able to enjoy the environment at the top before starting our journey down. We trotted for a large chunk of the descent, watching our footing carefully. We just wanted to get ahead of the target time of 5 hours. Indeed, we completed Ben Nevis in four hours and 45 minutes, threw our stuff in the back of the car and started our journey to the Lake District.
“We arrived at Scafell Pike around target time, if we could get up and down in four hours, we would probably be on course to make the 24hour target. It was still daylight and we jumped out of the car and commenced the climb. Scafell Pike is about two thirds the height of Ben Nevis and a shorter path, but it is steep and intense. My breath by about 20 minutes into the climb had become very challenged. With the added complication of a recent bout of Covid, I was struggling. Every step was difficult and I had to stop regularly to take on fluid and food whilst stationary. As we got halfway up, the light closed in and pretty quickly we had strapped on our head torches, put on our waterproof jackets and continued the hike.
“Snowdon was wet as well. We arrived in darkness, rain tumbling down and now with just under three hours to go. The 24-hour target had gone by this point, but my body had gone and I kept to my pledge, decided to rest whilst the other two climbed so that we could drive the 250 miles home with an element of safety.”
The climb at Snowdon is short, but it is a proper climb, a scramble, with large sheer drops. Again, like Scafell Pike, the path wasn’t obvious and the two of them went off track a few times, potentially putting themselves in some dangerous positions. However, they managed to complete the climb, reach the windy and wet Summit and return back to the car, just as the clock ticked over 25 and a half hours.”
Debs Mitchell, Co-Founder of Tom’s Trust, said: “We are so thankful to the Martin and his team for completing this enormous challenge for us. We are so glad we have been able to help Camille, our wonderful Young Ambassador, over the years. The money will go a long way in helping families living with a child’s brain tumour diagnosis.”
To take on your own fundraising challenge for Tom’s Trust, go to www.tomstrust.org.uk/fundraise.