Kontrolit Brothers Take on Three Peaks Running Challenge
(Normal walking now resumed)
The Kontrolit team is quite a sporty bunch, so it came as no surprise when the Howes brothers, Tim and Richard, both keen members of their local running club in Yeovil, announced plans for their latest feat of endurance.
A conversation with a customer about outdoor walking led Tim and Richard to discover the Three Peaks Challenge, which involves walking the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales within 24 hours.
In a sudden rush of blood to the head, they not only accepted the challenge, but decided it would be far better to run it!
Injuries postponed the event until September, at which time of year the second mountain, Scafell Pike, is tackled completely in the dark.
A friend from London was hoodwinked into chauffeuring Tim and Richard on the long trip around the UK, in a car packed to the rafters with running clothes, energy food and enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
The bold brothers set off from Yeovil at 8.00am on Friday morning, arriving at Fort William 12 hours later. Last minute training was imperative, and largely comprised eating enough pasta to feed an Italian family of four, followed on Saturday by an early morning jog and a pub lunch (with no beer!).
4.00pm on Saturday was lift-off! It took the duo two hours to run the 1,344 metres to the top of Ben Nevis, but they were hampered on the descent by poor weather (and by Richard wandering off-track, adding a further 200 metres to his total!).
The race was on – after a 20 minute change and a six-hour drive through the night, Tim and Richard arrived at Scafell Pike and began their second climb at 3.00am. Head torches and GPS were man’s best friend for this one, especially as the path they followed at one point was slightly off-trail…ok, they got a bit lost!
At 5.00am, Tim hit the “wall” (also known to runners as the “bonk”). Urgent action was needed, and he was ultimately revived by “the best tasting Snickers bar I’ve ever had”.
After a four-hour drive, they were greeted by beautiful clear skies at Snowdon. Pushing on for the final leg, the brothers bagged the 1,085 metre mountain in 3 hrs 7 min, completing the whole challenge in 22 hrs, 2 min.
Richard says, “Not getting any sleep between the mountains wasn’t the best and I’m not sure what I was running on for the last few hours (maybe a spoonful of sibling rivalry) but it worked and the feeling at the end was totally worth it – just awesome!”
Anything you would have done differently? “Yes, plenty of little things would have made our time faster: changeovers were quite slow and having a bigger vehicle would have been a help too. But if I could change one thing only it would be not to have booked a half marathon the following weekend.
Tims thoughts: “I learnt a lot of about my physical capabilities and the power of the mind doing this challenge. I would recommend this to anyone (but you don’t have to run of course). I’m already looking at my next challenge…is there a Five Peaks?”