The time to beat
A “Pure 3 Peaks Challenge” isn’t my invention; Stephen Poulton first did it in 1980 in a truly impressive time of 41 hours 51 minutes. His record stood for over 37 years… until this summer, when Ross Malpass smashed it with a time of 37 hours 33 minutes. He averaged close to 20mph for the 430 miles of cycling; much of which was at night, while sleep-deprived, and with two peaks of running in the legs. Malpass, we salute you!
My brother, Torin, and I knew that this record was well out of our reach. But maybe we could challenge the unsupported record of 62 hours 55 minutes. We thought it entirely achievable, so long as we could stay awake, not crash, and stay injury-free. It also seemed enough of a challenge that I felt comfortable asking people to sponsor us, with all the money raised going to the refugee crisis in Greece, where I would be volunteering afterwards.
Our preparation was rushed, at best; at worst, wholly inadequate. But come the day of our attempt we had two fully functioning bikes and panniers stuffed to the brim with peanut butter wraps, energy bars, and waterproofs to protect us from the inevitable downpours we would encounter (given that our attempt was in October). We were ready.