The team of 32 set out on Friday morning and over the course of a long weekend climbed their way through the Lake District, swapping stories about everything from their personal experience of meningitis to how many blisters they had on their feet.
And every night it was back to warm accommodation for a hot meal and more bonding as every one of our brilliant supporters reflected on their achievement from the day.
Andrew Grainger, from Matlock in Derbyshire, said the highlight of his trip was having happy birthday sung to him on the mountain with a cookie with a candle stuck in it. His lowlight was struggling to get up the first hill on day one and not thinking he would make it – but overall, he said he “absolutely loved” the experience.
“I met some wonderful people and shared our stories with them about overcoming our meningitis illnesses,” he said. “I did hear some sad and upsetting stories, but this made me grateful that I’m able to raise money for this fantastic charity”.
Andrew had decided to take part in the Lake District 8 Peak Challenge after Meningitis Now helped him on his road to recovery when he contracted bacterial meningitis. He was motivated by having something to train for and a way to get back to full fitness after being so poorly. “It was a great experience, seeing the beautiful lakes from the top of the mountains, meeting a group of extraordinary and friendly people."
“The food did the trick, especially the fry-up on the last morning. I would love to do it again and would recommend it to anybody”.
For Ian Henderson, from Gloucester, this was not the first time he had taken on one of Meningitis Now’s mountain events – last year he tackled the Three Peaks Challenge, which covers the three highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales. He had such a good time, he decided to do another.
“I met some amazing and inspirational people – some of their stories were so humbling and I really wanted to help again by raising funds for such a great charity,” he said. "The team spirit was fantastic and for me this year there was the added challenge of making it to Scafell Pike which because of poor conditions we didn’t get to last year!”.
Ian agreed with Andrew that the whole experience was an amazing one. “Meningitis Now staff, safety team and all the participants, the many friendships made – all amazing. “The challenge itself was tough, I think overall for me tougher than the three peaks from a physical point of view, but so rewarding. I got a real sense of achievement summiting so many of the highest peaks in England – including the elusive Scafell Pike! The other participants were amazing – some real inspirational people and a real sense of camaraderie throughout the challenge."
“The social side of the trip like a trip to the pub just added to the spirit and the pub quiz on the last night just rounded things off.”
Like Andrew, Ian would definitely recommend others take on one of the Meningitis Now outdoor challenges. “You will find you can achieve so much with the support of a fantastic team around you,” he said. “And all whilst yourself supporting a really worthwhile cause”.
Although we are not running our Lake District 8 Peak Challenge next year, we will be running the Three Peaks Challenge – twice! To find out more and sign up please visit our Three Peaks Challenge page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.