Perhaps I have finally flipped. I was always rather dismissive of those middle-aged men going on mid-life crisis quests to regain their fading youth (although my youth indisputably faded a while ago). In fact I am not quite sure how I came to agree to do this. I just started get the emails that counted me in. I didn’t recall agreeing. A few people suggested that it had happened while I had had a bit too much to drink at the BALI awards. Once I finally did opt in officially, I discovered I never had agreed beforehand…
Anyway, the ‘Quest’ is to climb the three peaks – Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike (I know, we’ve all done that) but also to cycle between them at the rate of around 100-120miles a day – ha, that got you didn’t it! In the six days it takes to complete the challenge, we will have climbed or cycled over 35,000 feet in height – 20% higher than Everest – and cycled over 440miles. I start next week on Friday 6th September until 11th September. The main purpose of this is to raise funds for a charity called Perennial (formerly the Gardeners Royal Benevolent Society). This may not seem an obvious charity at first thought. However, regular readers of this blog will know that the status of the horticulture sector in general is a pet rant of mine. There are 500,000 people working in or retired from horticulture in the UK. Many are not well paid and pension provision is poor. In addition, Horticulture has one of the worst rates of workplace injury – perhaps not surprising, given it often involves working at height, in cold and wet conditions and operating machinery. Horticulturists are completely dependent on their good health and physical fitness to be able to work; an accident can have severe consequences for the horticulturist and their family. Perennial exists to support them when the going gets tough, which can be as a result of illness, bereavement or workplace injury.
To donate to the challenge visit www.justgiving.com/3PeaksExtreme. I really hope you can do this. Most people go into gardening as a career because they love it (certainly not for the money). Some fall on really hard times and could do with help as a stop- gap.
As for the caper, you should be able to follow our progress on the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/3Peaksextreme You can also and follow the team on Twitter @peaksextreme.
All the best, and thanks for your support.