Tuesday 19th July 2016 – 10.00am – Murray MacGregor.
Most people can only imagine how hard it is to complete the Three Peaks Challenge; climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon back to back without stopping, but when you plan to cycle between each of the mountains as well, then that really is a real ultra-challenge. But for one member of the Trust’s Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), that is exactly what he’s planning.
Jethro Bartle, who lives in Solihull will be joined by two current and one recently retired member of the HART team in support roles. Fellow Paramedics Si Greenfield, Andy Wright and Andy Gelesthorpe will be walking each peak with Jethro and then manning a support vehicle during the cycle sections of the challenge. In total there will be about 29 miles of climbing and almost 500 miles of cycling; non-stop!
Day to day Jethro works for the HART Team which responds to incidents across the region. The team provides medical care to patients in the hazardous environments such as collapsed buildings, at height or in confined space. They also provide water rescue and flooding as well as chemical and biological incidents. They played a leading role in the tragic events at the recycling plant in Nechells last week.
The Three Peaks event begins on Monday 25th July with the ‘simple’ task of a climb up the 4,409 foot Ben Nevis. After that it will be 290 miles of pedalling to the foot of the highest point in England, the 3,210 foot Scafell Pike.
After that, there is a further 195 miles of cycling before a final push in the challenge, climbing the 3,560 foot Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.
For most of us, even climbing one of those mountains would be enough; Jethro is planning to do all three and complete the cycling in just three days without stopping.
He said: “I’m no stranger to challenging events – I’ve done 24 hour cycle events before and ultra-events, but never put them together. However, I once read a quote by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first woman president, who said: “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”
“Clearly the weather will play a part in how long it takes but I am confident with the support of my colleagues it should be possible in about three days. At least I’ll have first rate medical care should I need it!”
The record for the challenge is 47 hours 47 minutes by former World Ironman Champion Chrissie Wellington who described it as: ‘the hardest thing I have ever undertaken and accomplished’.
Jethro added: “I am nervous about it but I’m looking forward to the challenge of pushing myself like never before. I am confident that I can complete it but am hopeful of doing so within three days. I am training hard but with the support of my team I am very much looking forward to this amazing challenge.”
Why am I doing it? I’m completing this challenge to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Dementia is the leading cause of death among women in the UK, yet receives only 3% of the medical research budget. Alzheimer’s Research UK are working towards identifying the causes, risk factors, treatments, and preventions for the four main types of dementia. I’ve set an initial target of raising £2,000 but if I raise more than that, it would be fantastic.”
You can sponsor Jethro here or by texting JBPK88 £ (amount) to 70070. All donations are gratefully received
Left to right – Andrew Wright, Simon Greenfield and Jethro Bartle.
Left to right – Andrew Wright, Simon Greenfield, Andy Gelesthorpe and Jethro Bartle.