3 Challenges, 9 Days, 1 Inflatable Kayak, 1 Mountain Bike & 1 Pair of Trainers!

3 Challenges, 9 Days, 1 Inflatable Kayak, 1 Mountain Bike
& A Pair of Trainers!

With less and less daylight time gracing our currently very saturated country and 2013 approaching, at what now appears to be an incredibly fast rate, the pressure is definitely starting to build to get in as many challenges as possible before the years out!

To date then, i’ve completed an Adventure Triathlon in the Lake District, the Coast to Coast, 150mile mountain bike route across the UK, climbed the 3 tallest Mountains in England, Scotland and Wales, completed the Fan Dance Challenge, a 14 mile mountain race, used by British Special Forces, twice up the tallest mountain in South Wales and the BUPA Great North Run, 13.1 miles half marathon.  This puts me at 5 challenges down!

No sleep for 36hours but happy to have completed the 3 Peaks Challenge in 23hrs 1min!

So, with that in mind October is a pretty busy month for challenges! Starting this weekend i’ll be cycling the Peak District Mountain Bike Challenge – 34miles+ and 6000ft of ascent in probably horrendous conditions, given the weather over the last few days.
Then, 2 days later, set off to South Wales to attempt a journey of around 70miles down the River Wye in an inflatable kayak (with no experience or any idea what we’re actually letting our selves into!).
Then, 4 days after that head off to Kielder to run a marathon (26miles) around the reservoir with a total ascent of around 2800ft!

It’s definitely going to be a tough 2 weeks but hopefully i’ll be able to raise a bit more for Children with Cancer UK in the process! 🙂

The River Wye challenge is the big unknown at the minute though. Unlike the Mountain Bike and Running challenges, I literally have no idea what to expect for this one.  Last night myself and Edd did a dry run with all kit in the kayak and were pleasantly surprised to fit everything in! Using Alastair Humphreys website of knowledge to assist in our planning (http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/2012/06/iceland-packraft-gear-review/) we put together everything we will need and cut anything that was not needed. Below is what we ended up with!

Kitted up ready for the Wye Challenge!

Admittedly, I should have sat down and planned this one more.  The main problem seems to be transport and accommodation over our planned two days.  One plan was to have some mates accompany us in a car who would then drop us off at the start point, set camp up at the half way point, then meet us at the end to head back home. That fell through, so it was back to Plan A – Train to the start point then, raft the river, camp at half way carrying all gear and then train back home at the end… this then fell through when I realised no trains go that far past Hereford and involved a fair bit of cash and timing was awkward!
So Plan C was born. We will drive to Hereford with all gear, park the car in a secure car park, trek with gear to the River and then set off carrying everything we need for the trip. End at Chepstow, train back to Herefore, find car and drive home! Our accommodation will be to bivvy!! Something, i’ve never done before but quite excited to try! See below! Hopefully along the way we will catch some fish to have for breakfast/lunch too! Who knows!

Our sleeping quarters for the challenge! Probably in a field… no expense spared! Hope its warm…

We have one big problem for the River challenge at the minute though and that’s the weather. We’re going to get wet, whether its sunny or pouring with rain but if the weather is as it has been over the last two days, we will be idiots to go given the current flood warning in place.  We will know for sure by Sat 29th evening more on what the weather though and so can make more of an informed decision then whether the challenges needs to be delayed or not… I really hope not!

Current weather forecast for Sunday Night! Oh dear…

Working on our previous few test trips on rivers/canals around here we have estimated a minimum of 7 and a half hours of continuous paddling per day to complete the challenge in 2 days. This is not taking into account stops for food, toilet breaks etc etc so it’s going to be long days on the river. It will definitely be tough but im excited about the unknown aspects of this one!! More to follow…

If you would like to donate to Children with Cancer UK for the challenges i’m completing this year, please do so at http://justgiving.com/smithschallenge2012

As ever, however much you would like to sponsor is most appreciated! Even just a quid!!!:-)

Thanks for reading! :0)


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