Mates aim high with moun­tain chal­lenge

Macclesfield Express - - EAST CHESHIRE HOSPICE -

THERE will be no warm fires and cosy days in on win­ter week­ends for a group of Mottram mates.

The eight friends are pre­par­ing to take on The Three Peaks Chal­lenge in June to raise funds for East Cheshire­Hos­pice and have just be­gun their train­ing to get in shape for the gru­elling 24-hour moun­tain chal­lenge.

The chal­lenge in­volves walk­ing three moun­tains – Ben Nevis in Scot­land, Scafell Pike in Eng­land’s Lake Dis­trict and Snow­don in Wales.

The team be­gan their train­ing with an icy walk up Shut­lingsloe Hill, known as the ‘Mat­ter­horn of Cheshire’ and have a se­ries of walks planned as they try to get in shape.

“We’re all new to this type of chal­lenge,” says 39-year-old Stu­art Bar­ber, “but al­ready we are find­ing that walk­ing can be the per­fect stress buster and we’ll be putting in some evening walks as well, as the days get longer.”

Stu­art, a tech­ni­cal of­fi­cer with Cheshire East Coun­cil, is no stranger to the out­doors and has spent quite a few hours re­cently be­hind the wheel of a grit­ter tack­ling the snowy roads of Cheshire, but this out­door chal­lenge will present its own prob­lems.

He says: “None of us are su­per fit, and we know this is go­ing to test us both phys­i­cally and men­tally so we need to keep up the pres­sure.”

Stu­art is fully aware of the ex­cel­lent care given to hospice pa­tients – his mother spent some time there about 10 years ago and his wife Claire is a sis­ter on the wards.

This year is the first year Three Peaks has been in­cluded in the hospice’s an­nual chal­lenge pro­gramme and the team, known as the Mottram Moun­taineers, are plan­ning to raise £3,000.

They’ve set up their own fundrais­ing site www. just­giv­ing.com/teams/ mot­tramMoun­taineers.

To find a fundrais­ing chal­lenge go to www. eastcheshire­hos­pice. org.uk. ●● GREAT MANCH­ESTER RUN

Be­ing part of Europe’s top 10k run­ning event, will have very per­sonal con­no­ta­tions for a well-known Cheshire busi­ness­man.

Whilst pound­ing the streets with 44,000 other run­ners in the Mor­risons Great Manch­ester Run, the oc­ca­sion will be a spe­cial one for Nick Bianchi, direc­tor of the well-known Macclesfield fur­ni­ture store Arighi Bianchi.

Run­ning to raise money for East Cheshire­Hos­pice, Nick says: “I saw up close and per­sonal the work of the hospice when our good friend and col­league Eric Moores spent his last few days there back in March 2010.

“It was a piv­otal mo­ment for me and the ●● STARLIGHT WALK EARLY­BIRD

There’s just 10 days left to sign up for early bird en­try in to this year’s Starlight Walk in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.

The fam­ily-friendly walk in the beau­ti­ful grounds of CapesthorneHall takes place on Fri­day, April 24 and is one of the char­ity’s flag­ship fundrais­ing events rais­ing more than £40,000 run has be­come a hugely im­por­tant event in help­ing us raise money for the char­ity”.

Around 250 peo­ple run with Team Arighi Bianchi each year, mak­ing it one of the largest teams in the run.

The team have raised over £130,000 in the last four years with last year’s to­tal of £40,000 be­ing their best an­nual to­tal yet.

Nick will have fur­ther Bianchi sup­port on the run last year. More than 500 peo­ple took part in last year’s event and or­gan­is­ers are hop­ing to beat those fig­ures this year with walk­ers able to choose their dis­tance.

This year’s theme is ‘fes­ti­vals’ so sun­glasses, wellies and wa­ter­proofs are must-have ac­ces­sories with prizes awarded on the night for the best out­fit.

The Starlight Walk is a from his brother Robert and cousin John who are also run­ning along with 20 store staff and an as­sort­ment of other friends and col­leagues.

Nick , who is vi­cepres­i­dent of the Cheshire char­ity, is cur­rently train­ing hard for the May event, hop­ing to beat his per­sonal best time of 47.50 min­utes which he achieved two years ago.

Camilla Crock­ett, cor­po­rate fundraiser at the hospice said: “Year af­ter year we are as­tounded at the num­ber of peo­ple who join this team. As Arighi Bianchi’s of­fi­cial char­ity, it’s fan­tas­tic to have their con­tin­ued sup­port.”

To sup­port the team visit their fundrais­ing site www.just­giv­ing.com/ Arighi-and-Bianchi­and-Co-Ltd2. car­ni­val oc­ca­sion with face-paint­ing, live mu­sic, hot food and drinks with gates open­ing from 6pm, well be­fore the walk which starts at 7.30pm.

Early­bird en­try costs just £7 for chil­dren and £12 for adults. To reg­is­ter go to www.eastcheshire­hos­pice. org.uk/starlight­walk.

Book­ing forms are also avail­able from the hospice and its char­ity shops.

● The Mottram Moun­taineers, front row, from left, Rob Gee, Kevin Spiers, tephen Ca­vanagh and Stu­art Bar­ber. Back row, from left, Jonny Ca­vanagh, Rick Thorpe and Dan All­man

●● Nick Bianchi, right, with Coro­na­tion Street star Samia Ghadie and her part­ner Syl­vain Longcham­bon

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