Every year SPUC holds a sponsored event to raise both awareness & money for the pro-life cause.
You can help support our work by donating to that yourself directly, and also by collecting sponsors.
Read a report by SPUC's Isaac Spencer on the latest sponsored event:
Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge 2015
Before we even began there was drama: John's coach up to Leeds was delayed by four hours and we thought we might have lost him! In the end he arrived at the house where we were staying at 3am – at which point I had to break it to him that we were getting up at quarter past five!
"After a couple of hours' sleep, we travelled across to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, the picturesque village that marks the beginning of the Yorkshire Three Peaks. Before we got to the cafe which serves as the start line, we had to take a moment to savour the beauty of the Yorkshire countryside. However, as we reminded ourselves, there would be plenty of time to appreciate it in the long walk that lay ahead! We posted in our start time at the cafe and off we set.
The first climb to scale was Pen-y-Ghent. This is where we started to realise that it had been a really long time since we'd done any serious walking! All of us were huffing and puffing by the time we were halfway up and finding the will-power to get the top was a serious effort – especially since we knew we'd barely begun! But at the summit life suddenly seemed a lot easier – now we could say: 1 down, 2 to go.
Feeling pretty pleased that we'd managed to conquer the first peak in under 2 hours, we made straight-away for the second, Whernside. This is the longest flat bit of the Challenge, and as the sun was shining, it gave us all a good chance to talk to each other properly. Jonny has just finished running the pro-life society at Cardiff University (my alma mater) so we had lots to catch up on.
Did I say that the trek to Whernside is the longest flat part of the challenge? Well, the ascent is definitely the longest steep part! Easily two miles of climbing stairs up the hillface, but with a few groans and moans we made it up to the top one by one. Although we'd have liked to stop and rest for a bit, we could see rainclouds gathering behind us ominously, so we decided to make tracks down Whernside's steepest face. Even in the dry weather there were a few slips and slides but we made it down in one piece!
Hit by a hailstorm
We trekked on to Ingleborough, the third and final hill – and also the steepest! Just as we reached the beginning of the ascent (which to our tired eyes looked almost vertical!) the heavens opened in spectacular fashion. In two minutes flat we were all drenched to the skin, and then the hail started!! Even with the hail cutting into our arms & faces, we just thought “We can't let this stop us now”! So we clambered on and on, using our hands in true Gollum-style until at last we were on level ground again. Only to be greeted with another, even steeper climb! But eventually we hauled ourselves up to the top of the toughest of the Three Peaks.
We were all feeling in pretty bad shape at this point – the whole of Jonny's right leg was hurting with every step while his back was going too; everything below my shins was just aching and John was struggling to keep up with the pretty rapid pace we were forcing ourselves into by the end.
The final push
Still, only five miles left, and most of them downhill! It was pretty cold & windy up on the summit too, so we started trudging our way back down the other side to Horton and the cafe where we had started 9 hours ago. The last mile must have been the longest mile any of us had ever walked but eventually we came over the last rise and saw the train station. We were almost there!
Stumbling through the village under the sympathetic glances of the local residents, Jonny and I managed to stagger back to the cafe and check our time – 10 hours and 19 minutes! That was more than an hour and a half off the 12 hour target we'd been set. John joined us about 15 minutes later and we could all spend a moment reflecting on what we'd just achieved before we unanimously agreed – as Jonny put it – we need a drink!
Exhausted, covered in aches and blisters but proud to have finished in such a brilliant time, we all collapsed gratefully onto the benches at the local pub. Three Peaks, 25 miles, one hailstorm, 10 hours 19 minutes – all to raise money to save unborn children. We knew we'd feel pretty sore in the morning, but that was nothing compared to the sense of achievement that we'll back on. What a day!"