A physical triumph for the Hospices

Local company Physical Digital have triumphed as they completed a staggering fundraising attempt and are still smiling! Six team members – four Physical Digital engineers and two of their partners – undertook the National Three Peaks Challenge, which is to climb the highest peak in each of the countries of England, Wales and Scotland within 24 hours, including travelling time. The event took place across the same weekend as the Woking and Sam Beare Hospices’ annual Midnight Walk, between 21st and 22nd May 2016.and raised over £1100 for our Hospices!

Daniel Lainchbury and Dominik Wac represented the team as they came to visit Woking Hospice along with their mascot Scanny the Scan-a-saurus to meet staff, share photos of their challenge and talk about their epic adventure.

Daniel explained: “We have all had experience of hospice care in some way or other and we wanted to support a local charity. Our office is based just down the road in Kingfield so we couldn’t think of a better cause to raise money for. The challenge was great, we are already planning our next one – we might do the Five Peak Challenge!”

Here is a diary of their adventure:

The challenge began, as so many things do, as a bit of Physical Digital office banter which then became far more serious when they started buying maps and getting fit. The team set up a group ‘Map my Run’ challenge and worked on improving their fitness and overall stamina. Team leader Benjamin Singer, Physical Digital’s Senior Applications Engineer, planned the logistics and agreed the route with the team.

At an early stage, the team decided to use the challenge as an opportunity to raise some funds for a charity and quickly agreed unanimously to support the Woking and Sam Beare Hospices. The local hospices support individuals nearing the end of their lives and also provide vital care and respite for their families across Surrey. 73% of their funding comes from donations so we knew that this would be a very worthy cause to which our friends and family could show their generosity.

Peak 1: Ben Nevis

The first peak to tackle was the furthest away and the highest of the three. Ben Nevis, near Fort William in Scotland, would eventually prove to be the easiest to navigate despite its height, as there was a single path to follow. The team started at 7.10am on 21st May, completing the 17.14km climb and descent through rain and snow in ‘just’ 5 hours 17 minutes and 21 seconds, then piled into the minibus and drove to their next peak.

Peak 2: Scafell Pike

The beautiful Lake District is home to England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, which stands at 978m above sea level. The team reached the base in early evening, achieving the 7.93km climb to the peak and back in 3 hours 30 minutes and 43 seconds. This was a harder climb due to the type of terrain, which combined scree and slippery rocks with a path that was not always clear to view. However, they achieved it at an impressive average speed of 2.3km per hour, before the drive to Wales.

Peak 3: Snowdon

In many ways this was the hardest mountain to climb: the team members were feeling the effects of lack of sleep and exhaustion after their previous two climbs; they had to map read and find their way up the Pyg track in the dark; the clock was ticking fast so the pressure was on to achieve the challenge within 24 hours. They managed to reach the peak but on the descent they realised that they only had 30 minutes to finish the last 2.2km. They dug deep and showed their true mettle as they mostly ran the final 2.2km in only 20 minutes 19 seconds. They completed the last peak in 4 hours 14 minutes, achieving the Three Peaks Challenge at 6.59am on 22nd May…with just 11 minutes to spare!

The fantastic achievement was a cause for great celebration, but once the adrenalin faded, most of the team simply slept their way home, leaving the driver with a lonely journey accompanied by gentle snores. The next couple of days were somewhat painful even for those who had trained hard, with blisters and aching limbs but no major injuries.

Fundraising delight

After such a magnificent effort, the money came rolling in, smashing our initial target of £300 over and over! Including Gift aid reclaimed, the final amount raised for Woking and Sam Beare Hospices is over £1100, which certainly made the challenge worthwhile over and above the sense of achievement.

So now that the blisters have healed and the memories of their aching limbs has faded, the team is now searching for their next challenge…watch this space!

If you have been tempted to take up a challenge like this for our hospices, we have tonnes to chose from – click here to see the full list for 2016.

To find out more about Physical Digital click here.