Adventure Racing Club tackle the Yorkshire Three Peaks
Over the bank holiday weekend 15 students from the Perse School Adventure Racing Club took on the 3 Peaks of Yorkshire Challenge. This is not a challenge for the faint hearted. The course takes in 3 significant Peaks (Pen-y-ghent, Wernside and Ingleborough), including 1600m of ascent and 40 kilometers of off-road track; it is a challenge even seasoned hikers think twice about. The Perse Students from Years 7-10 were not daunted however, and took on the event with great enthusiasm.
Despite beautiful preceding weather the event, held on Sunday 5th May, saw persistent rain throughout the Yorkshire Dales which made for some tricky conditions under foot. None-the-less the 5 teams set out at 0730 in the morning with all of their hiking equipment for the day and tackled their first mountain. Pen-y-ghent is a reasonably craggy summit on the ascent side which can be interesting in normal conditions however our teams were joined by 500 other would-be ‘3 Peakers’ from a large London based charity group. The usually isolated path resembled a motorway and Perse teams struggled at first to get ahead of the burgeoning crowds of people. This was eventually achieved, and provoked some surprise from bystanders as 11 year old Perse Students overtook 30-40 year olds with little effort.
With 4 hours on the clock the fastest team of Mr Ingram, Tom Anderson, George Gilligan and Adil Webster were hitting their second slope up to the summit of Wernside – a full 15km into the 40km course. The weather continued to worsen with heavy rain and increasingly high winds. The Perse support vehicle came to the assistance of many a charity walker who had come woefully underprepared for the mountain weather.
After a sterling effort from the Perse Year 7 teams (the ‘Persecutioners’ and ‘Persepiration’) it was decided after summiting Wernside that they should retire as the weather continued to take its toll. The Year 7 students should be proud of their efforts and the ARC staff hope to see them return for another attempt next year. By this point the Year 8, 9 and 10 teams were heading towards their final summit of the day, Ingleborough. The ascent to the final peak is the hardest of them all with a near vertical staircase to tackle before the summit plateau. Even when you touch the final summit stone you are not quite finished as you must complete a 7km descent to the start where your time is recorded.
Congratulations go to the ARC Year 10 Team who beat the club record with a speedy time of 8 hours and 25 minutes. An impressive effort was also put in by the Year 9 team of Fiona McBride, Christopher Norwood and Andrey Nezhenstev who completed the challenge despite the weather. Special mention goes to the Year 8 team of Elizabeth Townsend and Elizabeth Stephenson who are the youngest club members ever to complete the 3 Peaks Challenge.