4321 challenge completed in under 48 hours
Press release issued: 7 May 2014
The 4321 Challenge Team have been successful in their bid to scale the three highest peaks in the UK and cycle between them.
Matt Edwards from the University of Bristol, Chrissie Wellington MBE, Alex Price, and Marcus Mumford started at the foot of Snowdon at 9am on Friday 2 May, and finished the challenge at the foot of Ben Nevis at 8.47am on 4 May, completing the challenge in an amazing 47 hours and 47 minutes.
The team ran eight miles up Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, climbing nearly 2,789 feet, before meeting their support crew at the bottom and hopping on their bikes for 168 miles of riding and 8,104 feet of climbing.
The second peak was Scafell Pike, a run of almost 11 miles, with 3,478 feet of climbing. They then cycled to the foot of Ben Nevis, a massive 253 mile trip with 13,615 feet of climbing.
They arrived at Ben Nevis at 2am for the final stretch – the 10 miles up and down the highest mountain in Britain, with a strenuous 4,593 feet of climbing. The feat of endurance was done on just one hour of sleep over the whole two day period.
Despite a successful result, the team admits to going through some testing times, both physically and psychologically. Matt Edwards, Sports Development Manager in the Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health said: “We had a lot of laughs, a lot of euphoric moments, and a few dark times too. Descending into Glencoe in torrential rain at 1am, having already ridden over 400 miles and climbed Snowdon and Scafell was a tricky patch mentally for all of us.
“Everything is cold, you can't see that well, your world reduces to a bubble of bike lights and the survival instinct to get warm and dry as quickly as possible. At those points, various things kept us going - being part of a team, being in the moment of a life-defining experience, the charities we are supporting, the kind words of friends and family.”
Chrissie Wellington described the challenge as ‘the hardest thing I have ever undertaken and accomplished’.
She added: “I took on the challenge because I really didn’t know if it would be possible for me to finish it. I wanted to take myself out of my comfort zone, step into the unknown, push myself to the limit, raise money for charity and do all of that as part of a team. This amazing challenge was absolutely epic in every sense of the word.”
So far the team have raised over £4,500 for two charities - Jole Rider, an organisation that provides bicycles to children in Africa so they can get to school, and The Rainbow Trust, a London-based charity that offers support to families with terminally ill children.