Driffield News

Sarah completes the Three Peaks challenge three times

Sarah Keyes was on cloud nine after completing three laps of the Yorkshire Three Peaks to become Wolds Gymnastics Club’s Queen of the Mountains.

She completed the marathon challenge in 34 hours, trekking 76 miles and 15,000 feet of climbing, and was the last one standing in the fundraiser.

“I really enjoyed it,” said Sarah. “I felt OK most of the way round, I just had one incident where I was tired and needed sleep. I think I almost fell asleep standing up, but I just needed a coffee and then I snapped back to life again.

It is amazing looking back at it. I can’t quite believe I have done it; it hasn’t sunk in. Everybody thought we were mad when we said we were going to try it.

sarah keyes

“The weather was really good. It rained and hailed at the top of Pen-y-Ghent the third time around but that was the worst of it. We pretty much picked a perfect weekend for it.”

The challenge had been organised to raise money for the gymnastics club, and Sarah headed to the Yorkshire Dales with Ashley Gill, Harry Sheader and Will Webster.

Harry had to cut short his participation and Will completed one lap of the route, which involves climbing Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.

That left Sarah and Ashley Gill to keep going through Sunday. Ashley’s husband Sean acted as the support crew, meeting them at the bottom of each peak to restock their rucksacks with food and water and provide much-needed coffee and encouragement.

Sarah said: “Ashley and I set off at about 3pm on Saturday afternoon and did two laps together. I felt I could carry on for a bit longer so I decided to do the third lap on my own.

“We had said we were doing the Three Peaks three times, so I felt that one of us needed to bring it home for the team and that was in my mind.

“I had so much support from friends and family on the third lap. My husband posted that I was going for it and my phone got lots of messages.

“The top of the third peak is like a lunar landscape, with lots of shale, and it is easy to get lost.”

Having reached the top of the ninth peak on her own, in darkness, Sarah eventually finished the gruelling challenge at 1.30am on Monday morning.

She said: “The first night was quite hard because I just felt like I needed sleep but on the third lap, I was running on adrenaline and felt good.

“It is amazing looking back at it. I can’t quite believe I have done it; it hasn’t sunk in. Everybody thought we were mad when we said we were going to try it.”

Sarah enjoys keeping fit and completed marathons with Yorkshire Wolds Runners a few years ago and her training for the Three Peaks challenge included completing the 43-mile Wold Rangers Way.

The event has raised around £1,200 for the gymnastics club, with more donations still to be received. The amount is enough to buy a children’s defibrillator.

“Both my boys go to the gym and we all hope the defibrillator will never be needed but it is good to know it is there,” added Sarah.

“Thank you to the club for organising it, to Sean for all his support and to Ashley and Harry for supporting me on the final lap.”

To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/fundraising-towards-a-defibrillator-and-new-bars

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