Gruelling ‘triathlon’ completed for charity

The group which took on the triathlon challenge for Team Becky.
The group which took on the triathlon challenge for Team Becky.

A group of nine from a north Northumberland community, which is raising funds for a charity supporting one of its own through cancer, have completed a gruelling ‘triathlon’ challenge.

As reported by the Gazette earlier this month, staff and customers at The Village Inn in Longframlington want to raise £10,000 for CLIC Sargent, which is helping barmaid Becky Cole through her treatment.

The 21-year-old was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma just as her pub decided to support CLIC Sargent as its charity of the year.

And nine members of Team Becky at The Village Inn – Gavin Christie, Phil Steel, Harry Moody, Dan Flint, Edd McCallum, Jonny Moore, Andrew Donnely, David Cairns and Terry Maughan – have recently completed a mammoth test of endurance – climbing Ben Nevis, canoeing 97km up the Caledonian Canal and cycling 117km back to the start, all within 48 hours.

Terry takes up the story: “On Monday, June 15, at 10.10am, we got into the boats and headed off to canoe the canal in three-man boats. We arrived at Fort Augustus by 8.30pm, but decided we had to push on so headed across Loch Ness for Foyers on the south side of the loch. It got dark and started raining, we couldn’t see much, we had to phone our support group to drive to the edge of the loch and flash their lights, what a welcome sight that was! At 12.30am, we got out of the canoes at Foyers and headed to the campsite, a 45-minute drive, and 1.30am into the tents.

“Up at 6am, we completed the canoeing at 2pm and got straight onto our bikes to head along the Great Glen Way. Hill after hill, wind in our face, we cycled and cycled. We took the wrong path from Fort Augustus which had us carrying our bikes through woods, peddling through bull fields until we met up with the path. We finished the cycling at 12.30am where we waited to be picked up in a lochside launderette.

“Back at the campsite at 2am and we started the assent of Ben Nevis at 3.30am and, yes, it was foul weather. As we got higher up the mountain we would be lucky to see five metres in front of us and the path was difficult to make out.

“We ploughed on and took a photo at 8am at the summit then headed straight back down, we had to be back down for 10.10am to achieve the 48hrs challenge. Everyone was soaked and drained (no sleep for 26 hours), but we pushed on jogging down at times and helping each other. We finished the challenge at 10am with only 10 minutes to spare.”

Visit Before the triathlon money, the total so far stands at around £2,700.