Tom Cowgill, director and co-founder of Rewards4, has successfully completed the National Three Peaks Challenge and has helped to raise over £4,000 for Target Ovarian Cancer.
The National Three Peaks Challenge is a battle of endurance that requires you to take on the three highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales within 24 hours. Starting up in Scotland, the 26-mile trek includes the dizzy heights of Ben Nevis (1,344m), Scafell Pike (978m) and Snowdon (1,085m).
As part of a group of six friends and family, Tom completed the challenge in memory of his late sister Susan, who passed away from ovarian cancer last year. In the process, the group has raised over £4,000 for the UK’s leading ovarian cancer charity which aims to improve early diagnosis, fund life-saving research and to provide support to women.
Despite a battle with Storm Miguel and issues on the M6 to contend with, the group was able to complete the challenge in 23 hours and 29 minutes, to the delight of the six climbers.
Tom Cowgill said: “We started the climb of Ben Nevis at about 5.45pm on Friday and managed to complete the challenge with about half an hour to spare.
“We managed to get up and down quite quickly for all three, Ben Nevis was about four and a half hours, we did Scafell Pike in the worst conditions imaginable in three hours and 20 minutes, and then Snowdon in under four hours, again in horrendous conditions.
“Unfortunately travelling from Scafell to Snowdon, the M6 was closed, which added an extra 90 minutes to the trip, but it was all part of the challenge and that’s why its so tight as there are a lot of things to contend with.
“With the weather, traffic and the physical demands of going up and down three mountains to deal with, we were delighted to complete the challenge within the time.”
The last leg of the trek requires climbers to reach the bottom of Snowdon after their descent, which won’t have been made any easier by the awful conditions.
Tom expressed his relief and pride at reaching Pen-y-pass to officially complete the challenge, which came after a prior warning from other climbers.
“Once we got to the bottom, it was just a feeling of elation really. I think we were all in need of a drink and our driver Steve got some champagne for us when we got to the bottom,” said Tom.
“We were incredibly tired at the end, obviously we had to tackle some of it overnight and the physical demands of the climb were very draining, particularly with the storm.
“The hardest bit was probably Scafell Pike with the storm being at its worst during the night and us doing that one at 4am. We were effectively walking through streams, so the water was getting into our boots and we had some really strong gale-force winds to deal with, especially at the summit.
“We also came across some other climbers, who were on their way down, and they said they wouldn’t recommend us going to the top because of the wind.
But we were determined to keep going and when we got to the top, it was just something else. We then had to contend with the descent which was probably even more difficult!”
The next challenge for Tom is just a week away, as he sets out to complete a cycle from Wolverhampton to Aberdovey for a different charity.
“We do these challenges because of the enjoyment and satisfaction that we get out of them. The fact that we can raise some money for different charities, especially ones close to our heart, makes it even more worthwhile.”
For more information on the work that Target Ovarian Cancer does, or to make a donation, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tom-cowgill