A brave Aylesbury marathon runner is meeting up with five strangers to take a seriously epic charity challenge.
Guy Stapleford will take part in a 470-mile relay from Fort William, Scotland, to Caernarfon in North Wales in one weeks’ time.
The intrepid athlete will be joined by Jess Haney, Sean Merryweather, Claire Hobson and Howard Crompton who all got together after Guy posted about the challenge on social media.
Now they are hoping to break a Three Peaks record set more than 35 years ago by running the National Three Peaks challenge, from sea level to sea level, in less than three days. The current record stands at 54 hours 39 minutes so the team will need to run seven minute miles, on average, to achieve their aim
Guy said: "It’s a difficult task, which goes to show why the record hasn't been beaten since it was set in 1981. It's not just about running fast, it’s about running fast up the three highest mountains in the UK. Finding four complete strangers who've totally got the concept is amazing. People may look at us and think, why? But that's the point, I wanted to prove that anything is possible if you believe in something strongly enough. If you have a why, that’s reason to suffer".
The five runners will run in classic relay fashion, non-stop, from the lifeboat station in Fort William, down through Scotland and England, aiming to reach the finish line at Caernarfon Castle three days later. By the end of the challenge each of the five runners will have covered an incredible 90 miles - more than three marathons each.
Guy is no stranger to this kind of endurance challenge. Since taking up running and cycling two years ago, he’s raised more than £5,000 for Make-A-Wish through some tough challenges including cycling the National Three Peaks in three days, solo and self-supported, running 220 miles from Liverpool to Reading – averaging 32 miles a day, dressed as various superheroes, finishing at the Make-A-Wish UK offices, and most recently cycling the Welsh Three Peaks in a record time of 16hrs.
Guy added said: "I suffered badly with anxiety and depression in my 20s and used an incredibly difficult period in my life to change, to do and be something different. These endurance challenges have helped me to tackle my depression head on, to talk about it openly and to put myself in control of how I feel. But I wanted to make sure that this wasn't a selfish pursuit, that someone got something out of it and that it made a difference.
“I met Tony Frobisher, whose daughter Milla was granted a wish through Make-A-Wish and we’ve become good friends. Hearing and seeing his story first hand cemented my belief in what this amazing charity does.
“When you’re at the end of what you perceive to be your physical limits to be, you need a reason to push yourself on. I know this next challenge is going to really hurt, but my pain is going to end. There are some really poorly children going through treatment who aren’t that lucky. It will be incredibly motivating to think of them when I’m out on the road.”
You can find out more here about Guy’s challenges and sponsor him here https://www.gofundme.com/run-the-peaks
Make-A-Wish grants life-changing wishes for children who are seriously ill. A wish is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a focus for children whose future may be uncertain. Since the charity was founded in the UK in 1986, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 14,000 wishes - registered charity number: 295672/SC037479.
To find out more about Make-A-Wish visit make-a-wish.org.uk