On the 22nd of August the Run the Peaks team will aim to set a new record, by running the National Three Peaks Challenge as a 5 person relay team.
This means the team will run from sea level at Fort William and run, in traditional relay fashion, the 430 miles to Caernarfon Castle – and yes the route includes summiting each of the UK’s three highest peaks (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon).
This will mean that on average each runner will, by the end of the challenge, have run 86 miles each – that’s more than 3 marathons.
If that wasn’t challenging enough, the team are aiming to beat the current record, set in 1981, of 54 hours 39 minutes – so not only is that over 3 marathons each, it’s run at an average pace of 7 minute miles.
The question we are most frequently asked is “How?”
The team are working on a set of principles for running the challenge, but as with anything like this, that has to be able to be flexed and adapted in the moment – dependant on the route, terrain, elevation and fatigue.
Essentially the team will aim to run 20 – 40 minute stints during the day, aiming for longer on flats and shorter on hills, in order to keep the pace on target with the record. For the Peaks themselves, again to keep the pace high, the runners will only run short stints of less than a mile up with one runner taking on the descent. The only exception to this rule will be Scafell Pike, where one runner will have to take on a 12 mile section that includes ascending and descending the peak.
Two support vehicles and crew will be used to get ahead of the current runner or pick up those who’ve finished as well as be used as a base for rest, recovery and refuelling all on the move.
We’ve taken a lot of advice from Dave and Pete Ford, two of the runners who set the record back in 1981, so feel happy with the strategy.
The route has been plotted using the Ordnance Survey mapping tool and you can see it by clicking the link below;
We’d welcome your support along the way – whether that’s on social media (links below) of by physically coming out to support us at the beginning, on route or at the end. Below is the broad itinerary, based on running the route at record pace, as planned. This could obviously change, so please do keep an eye on our Facebook page or drop us a message to find out exactly where we are.
This challenge is defined by a concept, a belief in WHY.
I believe that if you have a WHY, a reason to suffer, something you truly believe in then this belief can push yourself far beyond your physical capabilities. So part of the reason the team was selected was that they had a reason to run, a cause close to their heart – that reason to suffer.
So as part of the Run the Peaks challenge we aim to raise £5,000 for the 5 charities we are supporting – Make-A-Wish UK, Mind, the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC), Brain Tumour Research and Run 4 Cancer.
If you’d like to donate and help us to reach (and hopefully exceed) that target, then please give generously here;