On the 21st September myself and a team of friends will be taking on the South West Tough Mudder event in Crickhowell.
It is a 12 mile course consisting of 20 obstacles designed by the special forces! It will be extremely challenging but all in aid for a fantastic cause, the Galactosaemia Support Group.
Please click on my charity page link to read more about the support group, submit donations and the reasons for taking up this challenge. Also please spread the word to colleagues/peers to raise awareness of the event, I have set a target at £500 but obviously just wish to raise as much as possible! Any donations and even just taking the time to read my page is greatly appreciated. Also if you are a tax payer, an extra 25% is available as a tax refund to the charity from the government via GiftAid.
My son, James Crilly and his friend Ryan Stockton, did a bungee jump on the 16th of June to raise money for the support group. I’m not quite sure what they have raised as we are still collecting the money. Hopefully it will be about £400. On the 4th August Kelly Morris, mum of Sydney who has Galactosaemia, and her brother Neil Morris are doing a Sky Dive to raise money as well. They can be sponsored through Mycharitypage.com. Go to the SEARCH box and type in Kelly Morris and away you go!
Then… On the 25th August we are holding a Family Fun Day at Kearsley Cricket Club. The club are letting us have the whole field for the day and they are putting on a Barbecue for us. We have a bouncy castle, bouncy slide, assault course, penalty shoot out and a surf simulator. Cake and sweet stalls. Raffles, ( lots of good prizes have been donated) tombolas, 1 of each for kids and adults. I think the adult one will be all alcohol. Oh dear!! Hook a duck, tug of war and we are still looking for a few kiddy fairground rides. Craig Phillips off the BBC and winner of Big Brother is coming on the day. I know its a long way for everyone but a good day will be guaranteed for all ages. Eating will be easy if you have Galactoseamia!!
Gaynor, Kelly and all our helpers
In hindsight it was a very enjoyable experience but it was also one of the hardest things I have undertaken to date. We actually walked through 4 eco systems starting with the lush pine and rain forests and finishing with the baron, moon like terrain of the final day. We climbed in good, clear weather so the scenery was quite stunning. All the guide books advise you to stop on several occasions throughout the climb and take in your surroundings. This is good advice as you spend most of the climb looking at the back or the feet of the person in front so to stop and look around is amazing. After day 2 we were well above the clouds and it was quite stunning to wake in the morning and see the sun come up with Kenya appearing far below between the clouds.
The higher we went the colder it got with the loss of the sun each day sending the temperatures falling well below zero at night. Sleeping in a tiny two man tent on the side of a mountain in freezing conditions is not something I would like to repeat however!
I was in a group of 4 climbers, all climbing for different charities. To support us we had a lead guide, two assistant guides, a cook and a team of porters. In all we had 21 support staff so there was 25 of us in all. The food was particularly good considering the difficult conditions.
The final push to the summit started at midnight in the biting cold (-12). It is quite an easy sight to look up and down the mountain and see groups of lights moving slowly up the mountain and to realize these were all groups like ours. Slowly slowly (or pole pole) is the only way to climb this mountain, the oxygen levels as you near the top are only 50% of that at sea level so even to walk 10 meters is an exhausting activity. We witnessed several people being carried down the mountain and that really brought home the difficulty of the climb, good fitness is useful but ultimately everyone’s body reacts differently to a lack of oxygen.
It took almost 5 hours to reach the summit and a further 2 hours trekking across a massive glacier to get to the summit. Our timing was perfect however and we all made it just as the sun was coming up leading to some quite amazing scenes. What no one really tells you about in advance is the obvious, once you get to the top you have to get down again! This took a further 5 hours so it was a really long, exhausting day.
Lots of people have asked us what challenge we will take on next, for me the answer is a flat,sandy, sunny beach but one or two of the other guys I am sure will look for something else next year.