Fourteen employees took on the peaks of Blorenge, Sugar Loaf and Skirrid – all in the name of charity!
Having taken part in the silver challenge last year – and successfully raised money for two local Welsh charities – this year we braved the gold route. The aim: to raise funds for the Anthony Nolan charity, so that they can continue their fight against blood cancers such as Leukaemia.
Our first peak, Blorenge, would see us climbing to the top in thick mist, trying not to slip in the mud as hundreds of walkers fought to reach the summit.
But reach the top we did, half hour ahead of schedule – and still full of energy. Largely thanks to the frequent sugary snack stops we took to fuel our ascent. From there, we pressed on through bogs and puddles, seeking the path that led from Blorenge down the valley to the canal.
At this point, we had our first injury setback of the day as one of our party injured his knee climbing… well, over a stile. To his credit, he was determined to see the day through. We checked he was ok, lent him a trekking pole for support, and carried on.
After a pleasant stretch on flat ground walking along the canal, and a completely necessary stop off at a cake stand, we tackled Sugar Loaf with relative ease, hitting our stride. From the top we had a clear view of the third and final peak, Skirrid.
The end was in sight… but we were still about five hours from the finish line!
Injuries and general aches had set in by this point, and the descent didn’t do our knees any favours. But we’d come too far to give up now. Driven by a sheer will not to give in, we pressed forward.
Fighting our way through mud and woodland, Skirrid would be a true test of endurance, but in time it too was bested by the OCG team.
Grinning from sheer relief and feeling triumphant we gathered for a photo, proudly waving the OCG flag from the peak… Before realising we had to get back down and make it back to the starting point before sunset.
Crossing the finish line just before 7pm, we handed in our checkpoint cards and collected our certificates confirming that we had completed the gold route. Elated and exhausted, we gladly accepted some refreshments before heading off home to a warm shower and our waiting beds.
A long and challenging day, but definitely worth it. With over £2000 raised all the blisters and aching limbs were worthwhile.
But we don’t rest on our laurels here. On 5 May, we’ll be competing in the Tough Mudder challenge!
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