I have talked on here before about The 100 Peaks Challenge and following this initial project meeting you will hear me talking about it a lot more. I am obviously not going to tell you everything that went on in the meeting, but I do want to give you a flavour of the massive task ahead of us so that when I come asking for sponsorship you will have a better understanding of what I and the rest of the team are putting ourselves through before we even get to that starting line.
The meeting had been organised by Sean Linehan, who had identified Northampton as being the centre of our universe, and so I found myself driving up the M1 on a Saturday morning, and finding that it was just as bad as during the week when I travel up to Northampton for work. Fortunately I had left sufficient time in my schedule to allow for delays and I arrived at the Hilton Hotel near to Junction 15 before the meeting had got started. First things first, I got my new The 100 Peaks Challenge technical tshirt from Karl Rushen, exchanged greetings with Sean, then said hello to Mike McDonald, who I knew from various events with Avalanche Endurance Events, and introduced myself to Ness Moffat and Dave Rigg.
I should tell you something about The 100 Peaks Challenge.
The Goal is Simple, the Task Monumental, the Reason Inspirational.
The Goal is 100 Peaks for £100,000.00. Since September 2012, Karl Rushen has made it a mission to try to raise as much money as he can for military charities, foremost the Parachute Regiment Charity (now Support our Paras) and ABF The Soldiers Charity.
The Task is to summit at speed 100 peaks in the UK, all above 610m (2000ft) – 70 in Scotland, 4 in England, 1 on the Isle of Man, 19 in Eire and 6 in Wales. The Challenge will begin in Scotland on 23rd May 2017, before heading south to the Pennines/Lakes, across to the Isle of Man, crossing the Irish Sea in kayaks. From Douglas on the Isle of Man we will take the ferry to Dublin to complete the Irish leg before crossing the Irish Sea for a third time to Holyhead. The final leg in Wales will begin in Snowdonia and culminate with tabbing from Waun Fach in the Black Mountains, finishing at the summit of Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons on the 16th June 2017 – a total duration of 25 days….
The Reason is Karl’s brother, Lloyd (Lloydy) who was killed in action in Afghanistan on 16th June 2011 while serving with 22 SAS, and ever since Karl has used the fundraising events he has done as a means of trying to deal with losing him in a positive way. Since Lloyd’s death, Karl’s wife has given birth to their son Charlie and before he gets much older, Karl would like to bring his fundraising efforts to an ‘epic’ conclusion !
And so here we were, looking to put some substance on the bones of the idea. Karl brought some immediate focus to the meeting with his reasons behind the Challenge, including reading to us the words used by Lloydy’s OC at his service, which were quite stunning. If we had not been inspired before, we were now. We then went round the table indicating what we wanted to get out of the meeting, before Ness led us through an excellent Project Initiation Document she had put together. Now we were getting into it, and very quickly we appreciated just how tight a timeline we had ahead of us, because Karl wanted everything in the project plan delivered by the time of the launch on 21 May 2016, so that we then had a year to devote to fundraising and specific training. So we made it a working lunch.
I have been appointed as the Legal Officer within the Project Organisational Structure, and we went through the wide scope of that appointment, which suits me because I want to give everything I can to this venture. Karl, of course, is Challenge CEO, Sean is Operations Director, Mike is Support Team Co-Ordinator, Ness is Project Manager and also dealing with Marketing/PR, and Dave is Training Co-Ordinator. There are others involved and I will introduce you to them in future blogs. The Project Initiation Document gave us a brilliant framework to work through, and by the time we had done that, which took up all the time we had available, we all had a much clearly picture of what we faced to pull this Challenge together. It was a challenge in itself.
And with the meeting finished, Karl, Mike and myself headed down to the Brecon Beacons for another challenge with Avalanche Endurance Events, which is a whole other blog.