I would walk 500 miles!
The best laid out plans never seem to work perfectly with usually something hindering the plan at some point. This was the case with the 3 Peaks Challenge sponsored by The Falkland Islands Company Ltd on 16th June 2018 with the first problem being the banners getting blown apart by the wind and so therefore needed a plan B to secure. This was the start of many problems to face the team of volunteers on the day of the event as weighing scales decided to pack up, cable ties ran out, vehicle boggings, communication issues and the fog, the bloody fog!
But despite all of the setbacks before and during the event the team pushed on to ensure that all 80 entrants (yes 80 entrants!) completed the challenge safely and without injury. Two Sisters Mountain had caused the majority of issues to both marshals and entrants as the low lying fog had settled that bad that visibility was down to a few metres and so therefore it was a task to locate entrants and get them pointed in the direction of Mount Longdon. The FIDF signals unit was nothing short of excellent with Matt and Ken Newton supporting the marshals on the route ensuring we knew exactly what was going on and where to direct them. Without the FIDF there things would have been made a lot more difficult so a massive thumbs up to them for their efforts on the day.
Despite the poor weather entrants spirits were extremely high with smiles and laughter all around, even the dogs undertaking the trek were chomping at the bit to get underway.
We had not anticipated so many runners to undertake the event and has helped us learn for next years planning. The impressive speed at which they completed the challenge was mind boggling with local lad Claudio "Cleggs" Ross the first individual crossing the line dead on 2hrs, with Tim Ross second at a time of 2hrs 3 mins and in 3rd place Edson Salazar in a time of 2hrs 12 mins. 2 Para Adam Lloyd was the fastest entrant overall with a time of 1hr 59 mins but as he was part of the 2 Para RIC team their time was based on the last man Lee Fox crossing the line in 2hrs 12 mins. 2 Paras RIC were the first no weight team home with Paddys Power consisting of Tom Busbridge, Caiti Beattie and Chris Burton coming in second with a time of 4hrs 17 mins. 3rd placed in the no weight category was Whitbypips in a time of 4hrs 23 mins and consisted of team members John Whitby, Sarah Whitby and Alicia Tomkinson.
2 Para C Company were the only team to enter the 40kg with team members Captain Jack Newnham, Tommy Fox and Ian Prowse with a total team time of 4hrs 26 mins. An outstanding time giving the weight they were carrying. Luis Chacon was the only individual to enter in the 40kg individual category and crossed the line in a time of 5hrs 33 mins, hats of to Luis for taking up this challenge and being the only civilian to attempt this weight challenge.
There were no team entrants in the 20kg weight category but were plenty of individuals pushing themselves to complete the challenge. Crossing the line in first place and showing the lads how its done was Beverley Bates with a time of 4hrs 18 mins closely followed by Kevin Loftus in 4hrs 18 mins (a step separated them) and our very own ball hockey player Gethin Morgain in 3rd with a time of 4hrs 29 mins. Jacob Ford was the youngest entrant, at 8 year of age, to complete the challenge and completed it in a time of 4hrs 1 minute and in 21st overall! Fantastic effort from our junior ball hockey player who is an inspiration to all looking to undertake this challenge in the future.
Upon completion entrants were greeted with a certificate of achievement, pats on the back, hand shakes and most importantly a hot warm cup of St. Helenian Pea Soup made by Susan Knipe. This went down a treat with all entrants who were going back for more and the perfect supplement to end the challenge with.
We at Falklands Xtreme Sports are entirely grateful to all those that took up the challenge and entered and for all those volunteers and companies that helped to make this happen. We have plans to present prizes during an award night and as soon as we know the date we will let you all know and do hope that you can come along to make this an evening to remember.
The event raised a staggering £965 on the day for our Falkland Islands ball hockey team who are hoping to attend the ISBHF World Championships in Kosice, Slovakia in 2019 (check out the links on the website for further information on this). The event was also setup to help raise funds for SAMA82 as without them the people of the Falkland Islands would not be able to undertake such events like this. We are forever in your debt and cannot thank you enough for ensuring our freedom.
Without the donation of £1000 from The Falkland Islands Company Ltd this event would not have been possible. Their sponsorship is highly crucial and important to ensure the success of the 3 Peaks Challenge. Not only did they donate but had staff members volunteering their services on the day. Karen Rozee providing First Aid and Marshal help, Timmy Francis, Damien Henry and Paul Green providing Marshal duties and of course Chef Susan Knipe. Stevie Bennett (also and FIC employee), his wife Laura Bennett and son Cameron Bennett were legendary on the day in providing marshal cover and ensuring the event ran smoothly. Stevie and Cameron themselves yomped 15 miles to ensure entrants were safely directed to the next checkpoint and onto the finish line.
Garret March, Chris MacDonald and Niall Evans also provided marshal assistance on the day and looked a little worse for wear and covered in mud when appearing at the finish line.
Lessons have been learnt for next years challenge and we will ensure it is fine tuned to provide the best experience for everyone. We have had nothing but support before, during and after the event and we appreciate all the kind words you have been sending to the team that assisted on the day. Your ideas and concerns from the event have been taken on board and we will strive to ensure that next year is bigger and better, maybe just maybe we will hit the 100 entrant mark! For the first time this event has been run we are over the moon with the results the efforts and of course to YOU the entrants who at the end of the day have made this event what it is. Not a single person was lost, you all crossed safely without injury and dare I say you were all smiling when you hit the finish line. Take a bow everybody and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
Typically the weather the day after the even was beautiful with the sun shining and the human eye able to see a lot further than a few metres! This is just typical of the Falkland Islands and how the weather here can change with the flick of a switch. But in reality it would not have been the same if it was done in the sunshine, we are xtreme sports and and we couldn't have gotten anymore xtreme than the 3 Peaks Challenge on 16th June 2018.