Fit­ness in­struc­tors to scale Ben Ne­vis

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS -

FIT­NESS in­struc­tors usu­ally seen in Cant­ley Park are head­ing off for Scot­land to­mor­row – to run up and down Ben Ne­vis, writes Sally Bryant.

Karen Burles and Deb­bie For­rest are mak­ing the her­culean at­tempt to raise money for Chil­dren with Can­cer UK.

It will com­plete their City to Sum­mit chal­lenge, which was thwarted by bad weather in July. And now they have their fin­gers crossed the el­e­ments will be kin­der to them on Satur­day.

Karen, of Rough­grove Copse in Bin­field, told The Wok­ing­ham Pa­per on Tues­day: “I think it is look­ing wet, but hope­fully the wind will stay on our side.”

Karen and Deb­bie, who lives in Even­dons Road in Wok­ing­ham, are Elite Con­di­tion­ing in­struc­tors. They work from Cant­ley Park to put lo­cal peo­ple through their paces – but their City to Sum­mit at­tempt stretched a few more mus­cles.

They started from Ed­in­burgh with the aim of com­plet­ing a 13.1 mile road half marathon, a 112mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile trail marathon in­clud­ing up and down Ben Ne­vis to fin­ish at Fort Wil­liam.

But six months of gru­elling train­ing, in­clud­ing the Brighton marathon and cy­cling 86 miles around the Chilterns, couldn’t com­pete with Mother Na­ture. Mum-of-three Karen, who tack­led the chal­lenge days be­fore her 40th birth­day, said: “We saw all sea­sons in one day, from the sum­mer sun­rise in Ed­in­burgh to the win­ter winds and tor­ren­tial rain from mile 15.

“When we were on the bikes, the wind was un­be­liev­able. We knew we were not go­ing to make the check­point, we knew we were too slow.”

Then of­fi­cials be­gan stop­ping peo­ple from go­ing any fur­ther and the dream was over for that day. Karen said 250 had en­tered the event, 177 started and only 30 fin­ished but now she and Deb­bie are de­ter­mined to get over that moun­tain this week­end and reach their goal for the char­ity.

“I wanted to push the bound­aries and I have never started some­thing and not fin­ished it. And al­though Chil­dren with Can­cer is the cho­sen char­ity for the event, now one of my clients’ daugh­ter has been di­ag­nosed with leukaemia, so there is ex­tra heart­felt emo­tion for us.”

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